Alert about side effects of shock wave lithotripsy

Mayo Clinic researchers are sounding an alert about side effects of shock wave lithotripsy: in a research study, they found this common treatment for kidney stones to significantly increase the risk for diabetes and hypertension later in life.

Risk for diabetes was related to the intensity of the treatment and quantity of the shock waves administered; hypertension was related to treatment of stones in both kidneys.

Shock wave lithotripsy uses shock waves to break up an impassable kidney stone into smaller, sandlike pieces which can be passed spontaneously, usually within a month. The patient and the lithotriptor that emits the shock waves are placed in a water bath. Water allows easier conduction of the shock waves through the patient's tissue and precise focus on the kidney stone.

"This is a completely new finding," says Amy Krambeck, M.D., Mayo Clinic urology resident and lead study investigator. "This opens the eyes of the world of urology to the fact that hypertension and diabetes are potential side effects. We can't say with 100 percent certainty that the shock wave treatment for the kidney stones caused diabetes and hypertension, but the association was very strong. The risk of developing diabetes after shock wave lithotripsy is almost four times the risk of people with kidney stones treated with medicine, and the risk of developing hypertension is one and one-half times, which is a significant risk increase."

The study, which is the first examination of the effects of shock wave lithotripsy over the long term, involved reviewing charts of 630 patients treated with shock wave lithotripsy in 1985 at Mayo Clinic. The researchers sent those still alive a questionnaire; almost 60 percent responded. The researchers matched the patients treated with lithotripsy to patients similar in age, gender and initial time of seeing a urologist for kidney stones who received a different treatment, medicine. Nineteen years post-treatment, those treated with lithotripsy had 3.75 times the risk of having diabetes as those given the other kidney stone treatment. The degree of increased risk rose with greater number and intensity of shocks administered. Those treated with lithotripsy also had 1.47 times the risk of having hypertension -- high blood pressure -- than those who received the other kidney stone treatment; risk was highest for those who had both kidneys treated.

The researchers hypothesize that the increase in risk for diabetes associated with shock wave therapy for kidney stones relates to damage inflicted to the pancreas, a previously known risk of lithotripsy, which may affect the islet cells in the pancreas that make insulin. They believe the increased risk for hypertension may relate to scarring, which the treatment may cause to the kidneys and could alter the secretion of hormones centered in the kidneys like renin, which influence blood pressure.

Drs. Krambeck and Joseph Segura, M.D., Mayo Clinic urologist and study investigator, say that they continue to use shock wave treatment, among other alternative treatments for kidney stones.

"Despite the risks, shock wave therapy still can save the day for patients, and it would be a mistake to put it on the shelf," says Dr. Segura.

The researchers indicate that they now counsel patients about the potential risk for diabetes and hypertension prior to shock wave treatment.

Dr. Segura stresses the need for kidney stone patients and their physicians to weigh the pros and cons of shock wave treatment according to individual situations. "It's a trade-off about whether the risks are worth taking," he says. "We're assuming doing nothing is not the right thing to do for patients. You have to look at it in terms of treatment alternatives -- percutaneous stone removal [removing a kidney stone through a small incision in the patient's back using an instrument called a nephroscope] or ureteroscopy [snaring a stone with a small instrument passed into the ureter through the bladder and then breaking up the stone with ultrasound or laser energy] -- each of which has its own set of risks."

The Mayo Clinic researchers examined the long-term effects of lithotripsy for patients treated with a 1985 lithotriptor, one of the early models, in this study. Drs. Krambeck and Segura say additional research studies, including research on newer machines and different models, are needed on shock wave therapy and risk for diabetes and hypertension later in life.

Prior to age 70, approximately 10 percent of men and 5 percent of women will experience a kidney stone, according to the National Institutes of Health. About 1 million people in the United States have had shock wave lithotripsy, says Dr. Segura.


  1. DIANE PULEO DIANE PULEO United States says:

    I have had 6 lipotripsy procedures in less than 2 years, with each procedure my lower back pain has worsen. I never had back pain before these surgeries. It is very difficult for me to stand up the back pain is that severe.  Has anyone else who has had lipotripsy had this experience.  please advise

  2. Gary Gary   says:

    Yes Diane I have had the same back pain as you after lipotripsy. Have you heard anything more as to what's the cause? I'm wondering if the procedure messed up my back. Gary

  3. Shekar Shekar India says:

    I had my very first lithotripsy done yesterday, in my case the stone had dropped out of the kidney into the urether tube & was around one inch away from the bladder. I was sedated & was later told that the stone was around 4 to 5 mm size & they had to administer 6000 shocks to break it. Surprisingly there has been there has been no trace of blood in my urine and my lower left back still hurts ! I am now wondering if the fragments are still blocking my left urether tube ? Hence no bleeding - any prognosis / comments or pecularities in my case are welcome.

  4. Gerald Gerald Canada says:

    I have had a few 2+ lithotripsy perfromed and my pains just got worse, though I did pass the fragments in time. Additionally I have had a Cystoscopy once and it was the worst experience I have encountered.  I'm still developing numerous stones and the dr's cant find a clue as to why..Its soo frustrating.  My Urologist now wants to do another cystoscopy which I am very hesitant of.  My pain in my lower back and my ureter are almost constant.  I've been like this for over 3 yrs and it is not getting any better...I'm somehow making 1-2 new calcium oxcelate stones per month.  My Doctors say its just something I'm going to have to deal with, and thats about it.  I have no faith in the Doctors anymore, they just give me pain killers and anti nasuea pills. Also I have lost over 27lbs since this started(lack of appetite).

    • Vera Pitre Vera Pitre United States says:

      From 1984 - 94, I've been cut on my left and right sides. I've had 3 Percataneous, and 5 Litho's.  The doctors found by doing explatory surgery on my throat, they found tumors on the Hyperthyroid glands.  These glands regulate the distributions of your calcium out put in your body.  If they are wacky they just continue dumping large amounts. Oh, and I was pregnant at 32,taking the antibiotics cut the effects of the pill.  When my son was born, 22 years ago he had lack of calcium in his body, because mine took it. So my baby was injected with calcium.  Thats when a light went off in the lab doctors had heard of Hyperparathyrodism. They did the surgery and I havent had one since.  Now, today 10-20-09 I will have a type of stint placed in the Ureth tube due to the Lithos. My left kidney is not draining to the bladder, it's collasped,Thats another side effect to look forward to.

    • Suzy Suzy United States says:

      Drink fresh lemon juice in the evenings - I was told it helps dissolve kidney stones.  The natural herb Uvi Ursi is also supposed to prevent stones.  

      Avoid rubarb, cooked spinach(the worst), excess of chocolate, dairy products, any drink that is carbonated.  

      If you get a book on juicing you can make fresh juice to help rejuvinate/heal and support kidney function.

      I have done these things and have noticed a difference.

      Best of health to you.

    • praymond praymond United States says:

      I had a lithotripsy in March of 2010 (yes my left side back still hurts when I press in that area).  Afterwards I was still producing alot of stones monthly.  My urologist sent me to a endocrinologist because my calcuim levels were high in my urine tests.  It turns out I had an overactive parathyroid.  Had the parathyroid surgery in September 2010 where they removed the overactive gland and haven't had a stone since!

    • robert Gianakis robert Gianakis United States says:

      I had lithotripsy three weeks ago and I was not warned about any side effects. When I woke up I could not walk because of the pain. I was released and told it was probably just a muscle cramp. I returned within 20 hours in an ambulance with severe pain then the next three days I was told that I now had a herniated disk and some fractures in my lower back vertebre. I am still not well and I am not free of pain. What can i do anybody have similar symptoms?

  5. Jennifer Mell Jennifer Mell United States says:

    I HAD 1 Lithotripsy done. I had no blood in my urine, nor any fragments in my urine. However, I sure do have an awful lot of pain on my right side of back. I was told I had 2 stones the size of 4mm each. Did anyone else experience this. I also now have a rapid pulse rate up to 180 beats per minute, EKG showed Tachicardia and also having sweats like you would not believe. Again, please respond if you had same symptoms. This would be appreciated.

    • debann debann United States says:

      I have had 3 done, l just this past Monday morning.  I have had much success with all three.  My worst symptom was in passing the fragments I feel much burning sensation all the time until I pass everything.  Very annoying.  Best remedy for it is to be standing and moving around.  Keep busy to get my mind off of it.  I only had some bruising at the sight, very little, never pain there.  Surely beats the symptoms of passing a stone without the lithrotripsy.

    • silvana gresg silvana gresg United States says:

      Hi Jennifer I have a history of KIdney stones as well. recently I have hospitalized three times in the past two months. doctors also thought tthat I had tachycardia my heart rate goes all the way to 160 I have had my first lithotripsy and now have pain from my knee down I don't know if I have a pinch nerve is it going to go away or what. well I have my next litho on Jan 8 but after reading these stories I don't think I want to do it. My stones are 7mm each in both kidneys right and left. but was told they can only do one at a time. I hope this helped you.

  6. Rick Rick United States says:

    I have also had 3 lithotripsy's done. I have had numerous kidney stones.

    I now have a pain in my right side. Sometimes bad but not always. I also take TheralithXR for the kidney stones. The doctor said the pain can't be from the lithotripsy but that was when it started after the second one. Also i get nauseated quite often.

  7. Ben Ben Canada says:

    I had 3 lithos and my blood sugar (FBG)rocketed up to between 7 to 7.5 (Cdn std) a few months later. I zeroed out all carbs for 6 weeks and reset my metabolism. 6 years later I'm around 4.2 to 5 so no lasting damage.

    As for stones, I must be the production king. I had over 40 stones over the past 35 years (all oxalate)some as big as 9 mm. Some I passed, some basket retrievals (12) and the 3 lithos but I started taking 5,000 IU of D3 a little over 4 years ago and everything is clean as a whistle...not even a little, bitty grain of sand!
    I know they have found D3 reduces a lot of health issues but in my case they have been a godsend.

  8. Christy Johnson Christy Johnson United States says:

    I had my first litho in November, pain went away mid December, all was good. Came back full blast first part of February, pain which radiates from coccyx to around pelvic area.  I thought I had another stone so they did another CT, neg results but the pain continues.  I think I will try the vitamin D3 and see if that helps.  I'm so tired of taking ibuprofen. It's a nagging pain which won't go away.  I wish I had never had the surgery!

    • zz top zz top United States says:

      I know how you feel, I had a 9mm stone after 1 lithio. The stent broke and developpd an infection where my blood cells were @14.58 instead of being @ 4. I had to undergo another lithio after that and it worked iam going on my 3rd for the other kidney but my Dr told me not to take any Ibuprofen or NSAID over the counter that can contribute in forming new stones but be careful about that, and ask you Dr also the pain is quite normale sometimes it the scaring tissue, good luck to you!

  9. Ricky Matney Ricky Matney United States says:

    I have a eptopic kidney that sits belowe my right kidney in my pelvis. I have had lypsotripsy 8 times plus have had numerouse stones (approx. 120). With these procedures comes constant back pain which is constant now that needs pain pills to relieve it. What I don't understand is that they say lypsotripsy doesn't cause back pain but for instance proffesional boxers aren't allowed to throw kidney punches for the risk off kidney damage. Well um lypsotripsy is a constant pounding of the kidney to blast the stone whats the difference? I guess this is why the patient has to sign a relief form before the surgery huh. Makes you think if the "doctors" are telling you the whole side of the after effects.

  10. Betty Betty United States says:

    It's nice to know I am not alone!  I have had 7 lithotripsy's - the first was the "sonic bath" - ended up losing right kidney to large staghorn stone - just had my 3rd lithotripsy on remaining kidney for stones - they have never determined what causes these. Still have pain in kidney area - My thoughts are with you all as well as myself.

  11. June June United States says:

    Do any of you drink a lot of tea or coffee? Is there a food(s) or beverage(s) that you probably have more of than you should on a regular basis?

  12. kerrai kerrai United Kingdom says:

    Before lithotripsy I was coping with tramadol. Now i'm suffering with nausea, acute back pain loss of appetite. I wish I had researched the procedure first, I would NEVER of had it done!

  13. kinza kinza   says:

    I have had 7 times lithotripsy and found no impact at all. I was having multiple renal stones in my left kidney and have done 7 times. Yet the pain still exists and am living with pain all times.


    This shockwave is a horrifying experience, for me pain for two weeks still nauseous and have an awful metallic taste in my mouth, and I now have diebetes up to 593 and the pill metformin also makes me really nauseous. I now find out isn't a side effect after this procedure, has anyone got this or have this taste? My stomagh feels empty and like if I drank beer all night. Yuck

  15. Romin Romin India says:

    My 2 year son has a 8.5mm stone in his right kidney. Both kidneys appear normal, liver, spleen, gall bladder and pancreas also appear normal.

    We are waiting for the serum calcium and parathyrod test results. till date he has no pain (touch wood) and live normal playful life. We try to make him drink as much as fluids we can so as his RBC and WBC counts can reduce. he is on antibiotics in form of syrups to avoid further infections.

    We are in a confused state, wheather we should go for Litho and get this stone removed or some althernative medicines to break this 8.5mm kidney stone. after reading above comments i am really scared to go for Lithotripsy.

    Any guided advice would be much appreciated, please.

  16. CJ CJ United States says:

    Has anyone experienced this side effect?  I ended up in the hospital, could not take deep breaths without extreme pain and developed high pulse and Atrial fibrillation after two days of pain which Vicodin did not touch. The right side of my diaphragm was elevated by 1.5 inch, this being the same side as the kidney stone treated with lithotripsy. I find the whole thing too coincidental.

  17. Lindsey Lindsey United Kingdom says:

    I have had two cases of Lithotripsy after collapsing with kidney stones. It didnt work and had to have surgery. The one blocking was removed but two large well embedded ones are still there. After Lithotripsy/Surgery I have the most draining/spasmodic pain in my left side. I have had all tests, colonoscopy etc., and no cancers :~} but was told to go away and live with IBS!!!!!  I have found for the pain Ginsovena is excellent and minutes after taking it the pain goes and everyday I take Iberogast which I needed to take for 2 - 3 months before I found an improvement.  I am living with it alot more comfortably now and it REALLY does help.  Good luck

  18. Sushmita Sushmita India says:

    Hey, I have had a series of 10 lithotripsy (one on each weekend). This was more than an year back. However I have not experienced the kind of side pain you all are talking about. I do have a knee pain... but am not sure if I can associate it with this...!

    • M Chaudhary M Chaudhary India says:

      Hello Sushmita,
      I have read your post and feeling a bit good.
      I just wanna know where have u done the therapy ?
      Also please advice what are the precautions have u taken after the procedure.
      Please help.
      Thank u

  19. heather heather United States says:

    I have had three lithotripsy procedures done within the last year and have noticed since the last one that I do have almost constant lower back pain. I am still producing stones and having attacks and no doctor has been able to figure out why. Consuming large amounts of water and changing my diet has done nothing.  They just onset 2 years ago and have not stopped. I really do not think I will have the lithotripsy performed again. There really is no point when the stones just come back within days of the procedure. I also find that I constantly get conflicting information between the hospital and my regular urologist. I do not know who to believe. None of them seem to think these 50 or so kidney stone attacks are a big deal. These stones have really altered the quality of my life.

  20. vicki vicki United States says:

    Ive had 2 treatments on the same stone 7-8mm.
    I have also had 5 xrays and 1 ct scan.
    The back pain is minimal most times. Haven't passed any significant size of stone yet and it is day 2.

    I was wondering about this procedure. I was told this is the answer to my problem with no other treatments offered.

    I was not told of any side effects.

  21. Kayla Kayla United States says:

    I had a lithotripsy last Monday. Now, I've noticed that every time I've drunk a carbonated beverage since the procedure, I get the same pain as when I had my kidney stones. Last night/this morning, I was in pain for about 11 hours after drinking one can of soda. Anybody else experience this afterwards?

    I just read somewhere else that people treated with lithotripsy develop MORE kidney stones!

  22. M Chaudhary M Chaudhary India says:

    I had done lithotripsy on 2nd Sep 2011 at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad. I never knew of the side effects of the procedure nor did my Doctor told me. I am really worried after reading the posts here. I am suffering from severe pain in my right side which seems to be never ending.
    I have to pop up pain killers and had to take pain killer injections twice within 48 hours of the procedure.

  23. neal neal United Kingdom says:

    I've had 12 goes of lipotripsey to get rid of 13 stones between both kidneys  two years ago worked and didn't have any problems but I've now got 8 stones on the right side and 7 on the left just had my first treatment two days ago not feeling well at all got headaches sins got what feels like a cold and been sick I have a little pain in the lower back. ? Good luck to you all.

  24. Jac Jac United States says:

    I just found out my left kidney has several stones and i have no insurance so is there any suggested treatment besides the litho machine as the doc said I can't pass these on my own they are too big. I have noted extra calcium in my body and wondered if this is just going to re-occur anyway I treat it?  Thank u and blessings!

  25. Esther L Esther L Philippines says:

    I've had 4 ESWL done on my kidneys for the last 6 yrs and never had a problem except for the recurrence which could have been due to my lack of water intake and not going to the bathroom as soon as needed. I have lower back pains, but not in the area where the kidneys are. I have arthritis in my lower back and I fight it with weight bearing exercises and it helps. i also do Zumba which I enjoy very much. May be, some of your lower back pains are due to bad posture, lack of exercise or just something about getting older, if anyone of you is over 40 yrs. Old. I've had my ESWL done at St. Luke's Medical Center in QC, Philippines. They have new equipment now and there was no pain, except for vertigo which was the effect of the anesthesia that was given to me prior to the procedure.  Vertigo was gone after 3 days.

    I still have to learn to drink lots of water.

  26. Bret Dale Bret Dale United States says:

    I would strongly discourage lithotripsy, although this was my first stone and first lithotripsy procedure, the pain following the lithotripsy procedure was by far worse than managing my 5mm stone to just above the bladder! The day of the procedure and the day after were fine and I did pass the stone (fragments) but the next four days I suffered worse pain than while first passing the stone from the kidney!
    I felt like I had been hit by a truck and my insides felt scrambled, also I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth and was nauseated for days.
    I was put completely under, and not told this until just before the procedure. The throat tube they inserted seemed to damage my voice, and I must have had the maximum treatment, because I don't think I could have taken it, if I had been semi conscious. Of course It’s only been a week since the treatment but I’m still very sensitive to smells and have little to no appetite, and continually nauseas.
    I’m just saying do your research and talk to your urologist, or get a second opinion because once the procedure is done nobody’s going to bear the pain with you!
    I can’t believe surgery could have been any worse!

    • Linda Linda United States says:

      I have just had my 6th Lithotripsy done. I have always bounced back, usually going to work the following day. But this time I awoke on Saturday morning after Friday evening litho. I was totally paralyzed from waist down!!! Talk about scary! I was finally able to reach my sister to come bring me some pain meds. With the meds I am able to crawl to the bathroom now at least but there is definately something wrong with my spine. I will never have another Litho done!

  27. Ron Dy Ron Dy Saudi Arabia says:

    I have had my 1st ESWL last April 18, 2012 at Asian Medical Center in the Philippines due to 1cm stone.  During the procedure, they put me to sleep for more than an hour.  When I awake, I have noticed that there was blood in my urine. The Doctor told that within 1 to 3 days, I may passed the fragments of the stone but I never had it.  I was afraid then if the stone particles stocked in my ureters or I may passed it out on my 1st urine after the procedure. Doctor prescribed SAMBONG (Philippines herbal medicine in tablet form) which cleanses the kidneys. I'm taking it until now for it has no side effects. 3 months after ESWL, I had my CT scan here in Saudi Arabia, it shows that my kidneys and ureters are very clear, dilated, nothing to worry about.  From the bottom of my heart, I am very grateful that I had gone to Philippines for the treatment.  They really have good doctors!

  28. Nancy Nancy United States says:

    I had ESWL for 1 cm and 5 mm  stones in April. I awoke to excruciating pain and was hospitalized overnight. I had complication of a tortioned  colon and second hospitalization a day later with third complication of a back up of the stones in my ureter and a swollen kidney, hydronephrosis. Since then I have had chronic left sided pain up under my rib. Any thoughts  on what is causing this. I was thinking scar tissue around my kidney or pancreas.

  29. Hugh Hugh United States says:

    I have had two Lithotripsy procedures done for 7mm stones and I did not have any problems right after the procedures. Now 3 years later my Creatinine blood test levels are raising, not sure if it has anything to do with these procedures or not. On the other hand, a doctor did tell me about "Magnesium Citrate". This helps break up any current stone you may have and help keep you from forming future stones. It has worked for me. I had 6 stones when I started taking this and it reduced them to a smaller size and I was able to pass them without a problem. I hope this helps.

  30. Sue Sue United States says:

    I also have had chronic right flank pain post lithotripsys.
    The last lithotripsy gave me a huge subcapsular hematoma around my right kidney that took almost a year to reabsorbe. The pain is off and on some days worse then others.  I am so tiried of them telling me it cant be kidney pain "because your kidneys cant feel pain"  I say OK then explain whats going on.  No answers yet.

  31. bawani bawani bawani bawani Malaysia says:

    Last Monday had my first litho..had stone in my ureter.  My dad and bro also has kidney stones but none of them went for litho. having back pain at the right side since then. Next appointment will be on 23rd. Will this pain be permanent or just for some time? I read through all the comments and it really made me scared.

  32. Joe Pellegrino Joe Pellegrino United States says:

    I had Litho to remove a stone the 2nd week in January 2013. This after a discectomy, laminectomy and spinal stenosis surgery on my back inSeptember of 2012. This pain in my left side is as severe as the back surgery pain. It is crippling, I went back to Dr he told me to take pain meds and rest. I wake up in the middle of the night in extreme pain. This procedure is terrible and I will never do it again. BEWARE!

  33. jacquelyn howard jacquelyn howard United States says:

    I had lithotripsy back in September for an 8mm stone and it was the worst experience ever. The days following the procedure I was in the ER twice. The first time because I was so nauseous that I couldn't even stand up without getting sick. The pain was also incredibly severe. Two days later I woke up to get ready to go to school and felt like I was hit by a truck and couldn't move. When I was in the hospital they gave me morphine and I could still feel the pain. After a little over a week the pain was mostly gone. However, I have always had lingering pain in the left side of my back (the stone was in my left kidney). I had another ultrasound because I believed I had another stone once the pain became more severe. The ultrasound showed my kidneys were fine so they had me get an MRI. Now I have 1 herniated and 2 bulging discs in my lower vertebrae. Although the doctors are saying the pain would be higher if the lithotripsy caused this, I am still convinced that the lithotripsy had something to do with the damage caused to my back. Usually when there is a disc problem it is caused by a strain to the spine such as a fall or lifting something too heavy. I haven't done anything abnormal to cause this damage. Also, I am only 16 years old.

  34. Cindy Fear Cindy Fear United States says:

    I just had lithotripsy on monday, after 3 years of pain and being told my symptoms were "unremarkable". The doctors I have seen have been "unremarkable in my opinion. Your experiences are horrendous. Last night, I awoke to excruciating pain during which I used the breathing/panting method taught for child-birthing.I must have been passing a chunk of the stone. I have had a lot of blood with my urine. ugh.

  35. Chuck Yesolitis Chuck Yesolitis United States says:

    ...and I am feeling great. I had three stones, forming a cluster about 1cm (10mm) in my left kidney. I had read horror stories about ESWL, but honestly it was not a bad procedure to go through - no pain at all. I urinated blood the first urination after the procedure and that was that. The hospital then released me after the next urination. That evening I passed a ton of material that broke up from the stones. I had terrible pain like my bladder was exploding and I couldn't urinate but a little the next afternoon - very similar to a kidney stone attack. Fragments seem to be just still stuck somewhere in the UT. This morning I passed more fragments, so things seem to be going according to plan. I hope I am stone free but I do worry about prevention in the future. I am a 34 m and we seem to have this genetically on my mother's side of the family. No back pain at all though. I think your experience can also depend on what kind of machine is used.

  36. gina Beattie gina Beattie United States says:

    I had lithotripsy on Mar.4. It felt like I was beat with a baseball bat at the site,(left) for 3 days.My kidney stone was 16mm. Blood in urine off and on.I have only passed 7 very small stones(look like sand).When I pee I have horrible lower left back and lower left stomach pains and burning.Pain meds don't help.They put a stent in on Feb.28.I have had so many problems with the stent.Bladder feels full alll the time even after I go to bathroom. Constant pressure is so uncomfortable,can't lay flat some nights because of the pressure.I have been suffering with this stone for 2 and a half months,still no relief in sight.

  37. David Freeman David Freeman United States says:

    I have Crohn's and have had 5 episodes of stones now. Just had Lithotrpsy today in fact. My kidney hurts in the lower back because thats how the damn thing works! But it goes away afterwards when it heals. And the person who posted 6000 shocks? Thats BS. They are allowed a maximum of 30 shots in any one  ESWL procedure. I've always dopne the laser procedure, after the first time, because my stones come in so hard, the ESWL rarely breaks them up. And mine come in at 1-2 centimeters. I once had 3 stopnes 1.3, 2.0 and 2.7 centimeters in size. Todays was only 1.5 cm and one stone.
      My urologist explained to me that the different machines have different powers, which is why we used the more powerful machine at a specific hospital today. (I won't know if it worked, fully, for a week or two when they re-xray me). And it is true that the Laser procedure hurts much more, but it was worth the pay-off to me to get it all over in one procedure. The stent is was causes most of the pain anyway, at least after the first 48 hrs. As they explained, they did this research with a machine from 1985. My procedure did not even include any water. And it also depends where in your kidney the stone is. Is it located next to the isles of lingerhans or next to another part of another organ? So you really need to take many more things into consideration than many of the complaints the baies on this thread are crying about! The obttom line is, sure, it hurts regardless. But you're fine after a few weeks or a month when they remove the stent. Other people have legs removed, cancer, etc. Soldiers even worse! We're lucky they can now remove the stones so safely. Instead of complaining, how about giving thanks they can remove them?
      And if you have other pains and other issues, post procedure? Instead of posting here, go follow the medical path to find out what it is. If your Doctors aren't listening, go to one that does!

    • Tabitha Landers Tabitha Landers United States says:

      Majority of the time, stones aren't even removed. The blasting, obviously, causes the stone to brake into many pieces, thus the reason for passing them through urine. I'm not a doctor, however, often pieces are not passed and are left in the kidney. Do you know what happens from there? The piece that is left can grow and, guess what? You're left with another kidney stone. Doctors Don't always tell you the effects of this procedure, most people trust that their doctor is giving them the right advice and suggestions. It is always good to research before you have anything medical done to you, but most people don't think to do so.
      Different people experience different things, so sitting here complaining about other people complaining is a waste of time. Forums like this one are very helpful to some people. Of course seeking medical attention if you feel like anything is wrong post procedure is the smart thing to do, but it can also be beneficial to talk to other people who have gone or are currently going through the same thing as you.
      Kidney stones and cancer and the horrid things soldiers go through should never be put into comparison because it doesn't even go on the same scale. If you are having side effects that leave you feeling worse than when you had the stone, then yeah it's a problem.
      You shouldn't be so harsh on other people. You don't know it all Mr. Freeman, so don't speak as though you do.

  38. David Freeman David Freeman United States says:

    Gina? The stent is clipped onto the kidney by your ureter. The pain you feel when you stop or start flow is the pulling of the stent. I know it hurts like the dickens. I have one now and will for 6 more weeks. But it comes with the ease of removal we are privy to. And yes it feels like you always have to pee. Thats mind over matter and lessens as each week goes by and your body gets used to it. I guess we should be glad the worst pain is only when we are actually peeing. As for the feeling of fullness, its a bit of mind over matter. I try to control that feeling a bit so I'm not peeing more than I need to. there are also meds they can prescribe, but they leave you with dry mouth. Good luck.

  39. Gerald Whitehead Gerald Whitehead New Zealand says:

    I have had in excess of 15 Lithotripsy treatments over a period of 15 years, and while the did reduce a large number of stones.  Thee main problems seem to occurring over the last five few .  I believe a few treatments may be very successful but a large number are very hard on the kidneys. I have now have one kidney not functioning as a direct result of the treatment and the remaining kidney is failing with high creatinine levels.  High blood pressure has also become a major issue

  40. Annette Wormley Annette Wormley United States says:

    Just had lithotripsy done on October 25, 2013. So far no pain but I feel extremely tired and a little nauseated. Haven't passed any stones yet but have passed some small sand like particles that are too small to pick up. I was told to drink 3 to 4 quarts of fluids per day. Will have follow up visit November 18.

  41. Joy Flick Joy Flick United States says:

    I had several very small stones, (I passed them without any help,) about 4-5 years ago. I collected them and took them to my OB/GYN, who had them analyzed and found them to be Calcium deposits. She recommended that I see a Urologist. Then, two years ago, recognizing the early symptoms of a moving stone in my back, I went to see the urologist. Sure enough, I had (2) 7 cm stones, and the urologist didn't think I'd be able to pass them, but she agreed to let me try, with the aid of flomax and a lubricant (pill form) to help lubricate and dilate. Sure enough, I passed them with little fanfare. Then, last year, she took more pictures and found (2) larger stones (9 cm) bi-lateral (both kidneys) and said I was loaded with smaller ones in both sides, as well. She recommended lithotripsy, assuring me that I'd never be able to pass multiple 9 cm stones. I agreed to the procedure, as my hysband has had it before and suffered no bad after effects. My procedure was about 5 weeks ago, and was done as out-patient surgery. They gave me Propofol to start with, and then something stronger to keep we well asleep. They also must've put a tube or something in my throat, (didn't tell me about that ahead of time,) and that actually caused the most discomfort afterward. All I wanted was egg-drop soup with crunchy Chinese noodles in it! The throat discomfort lasted about (2) days and then subsided. I had two baseball-sized reddish-pink blotches on each side of my back, directly over where my kidneys are, but the spots didn't hurt at all, and they only lasted about (2) days. The machine she used to administer the shock-waves was NOT a tub of water. I was lying flat on my back on a gurney, which had an opening in it right where my kidney was, and they positioned me directly over the machine, (underneath of me,) that sends the shock-waves onto my kidneys. They did one side at a time. When I woke-up in the step-down recovery room, I was freezing cold and couldn't stop shaking and shivvering. They loaded me up with thick warm blankets, and that did the trick. (I was told that the shivers/coldness was from the anesthesia.) I couldn't urinate, (a mandate before you can go home,) so I kept asking for large cups of ice water. I downed them in a flash and after about (4) glasses, I needed to go and had no problem doing so. There was alot of blood in my urine, but they warned me that this would be a normal side-effect. A nurse was in the restroom with me, and she looked at it and helped to aleviate my concern when I saw the actual amount of blood. (It, otherwise, may have frightened me...) I was in the 1st recovery room, (still knocked-out and still having my vitals, etc... monitored,) for about an hour, and then spent another 2 hours in the step-down recovery room, where I was groggy, but awake and talking to the nurses. After I was able to go to the restroom, they told me that I could get dressed and leave. My son was waiting to drive me home. I never felt nauseated, never had a headache and never had a loss of appetite, but I DID have that irritated throat, and all I wanted was hot soup with crunchy chips on it. My procedure was around noon and I was back home by 5 pm. By 8 pm my husband went with me for my daily/nightly walk with the dog. I usually speed-walk for 1 hour. I felt well enough to do so, but after 1/2 of (1) lap, I started to feel weak and light-headed, so I greatly slowed-down and ended-up only doing (2) laps, instead of (8.) By the following day, I was able to resume all normal exercise and activities. I kept passing gritty, sandy, tiny remnants of my stones, and as requested by the urologist, anything that I could pick-up with tweezers, I put into the little plastic bottle they gave me, after straining them out when I used the ladies room. I actually retreived quite a bit of the junk, (per the doctor,) although it didn't look like very much to me. She said that most of it comes out as almost dust, and it's nearly impossible to even see with the naked eye. I stopped straining my urine after about two weeks, because I couldn't see anything coming out anymore, and I felt it was just a waste of my time to keep straining it, at that point. I just had my follow-up pictures and office visit last week. One kidney is now stone free, but there is about a 5-6 cm stone in the other kidney. My urologist is willing to let things be, and re-evaluate in a year, or...she is willing to do the lithotripsy again and get rid of the remaining stone. I've met my out-of-pocket/deductibles for this year, and any procedures are 100% covered. Not knowing what 2014 will bring, thanks to crappy Obamacare, I'm very tempted to get it done while I can, and while it's free for me. I have no fear of the procedure, as it wasn't bad at all, (throat irritation was the worst part of it for me...) but my gut keeps screaming to me to not do it. If I could pass (2) 7 cm stones at the Ravens/Cowboys game in Baltimore last fall, (in Raven's Stadium,) with the help of flomax and a lubricant, I'm pretty sure I could pass (1) 5-6 cm stone, (assuming it doesn't get any larger by then.) After reading so many blogs and posts on this, and a few other sites, I think I'm going to cancel my scheduled procedure for next Wednesday. There just has to be some damage to your body, (internally,) from any machine that can obliterate (2) large, hard 9 cm rocks in your kidneys. I asked my urologist what is a safe time to wait in-between lithotripsies, and she said 30 days is sufficient. I always listen to my instincts, so I think I'm going to give my kidneys, (and my throat,) a break and let them heal up for a year and then see where things stand. Thanks to all of you for pasing along such valuable information. It truly has helped me to make this difficult decision...

  42. Ruth Powell Ruth Powell United States says:

    It's been two years since lithotripsy and I have no stones. My back pain is intense goes deep into my hip down my leg. Deep ache during the night and I've gone to chiro. And PT now for two years with no relief. Does anyone else who has lithotripsy have this? I'm 43 and physically fit however not as active as I use to be because of this pain.

    • Rita Hertz Rita Hertz United States says:

      I have had pain for two years now. No doctor will agree that it came from lithotripsy. But I had the same thing 6 years ago and now again.  So tired of taking pain meds. they just take the edge off but not totally away.

  43. silvana gresg silvana gresg United States says:

    I have had kidney stones in the past. I recently two weeks ago had my first liyhotripsy procedure. I now have a bad pain from my knee down. Has anyone else experienced this?  I am scared after reading these stories here and have my next lithotripsy on January 8. Can I possibly acquire another type of pain? I have stents in right now and hurt  and are very uncomfortable.

    • Raj Rsa Raj Rsa India says:

      I had the same problem after Dr did some surgery to remove 4 mm ureter stone and put stent and then i went thru Litho for my right kidney stone. I have pain from the knee down from last 10 day. Is this pain permanent and what are the causes and treatments available?

  44. Mic Jorn Mic Jorn United States says:

    i recently had my 2nd lithotripsy procedure done, this time it was done on the outside of my back over the left kidney, whee i had an 8mm kidney stone.   The week after the procedure, i developed an awful itch, it is more like it's coming from under the skin and feels prickly, itchy and firey, as well as when it occurs, the area that itches breaks out in welts, and moves to different parts of my body, anyone have this problem?

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