Frequenly Asked Questions


  • What should I expect after my lithotripsy?
    As a result of the treatment, your stone will have broken up into small pieces and sand. The nurse will give you a special strainer called a stone interceptor cup and will you show you how to strain your urine for the next several days. These bits of stone will be naturally passed out of your body when you urinate; you will need to drink at least one to two quarts of water each day, but be sure to avoid alcohol for the next 24 hours.

    When you strain your urine you might notice that it looks red. This is perfectly normal and means that some blood has been mixed with the urine as a result of the shock waves passing through the kidney. If you begin to pass clots each time you urinate or if the urine looks thick and bright red, call your urologist.

    Following ESWL, you might notice bruises on your back or along your side. If they become uncomfortable, an ice pack applied to the site of the bruises can help. If your doctor gave you a prescription for pain medication you make take it as prescribed. However, for the next 48 hours you should avoid any aspirin-containing product or drugs like ibuprofen unless directed by your physician.
  • Will I be asleep for my lithotripsy?
    Yes, you will receive general anesthesia by an anesthesiologist. Frequently, this is done by intravenous (IV) medications similar to those given for a colonoscopy.
  • Why do I have to take the Citrate of Magnesia for my lithotripsy?
    Taking Citrate of Magnesia cleans out the bowel providing better visualization of the calculus.
  • Will I be in a tub of water for this procedure?
    No. The 1st generation lithotripter’s required submersion in a tub of water. Our machine allows the patient to lie on a table against a water filled cushion.
  • Do I need a ride home?
    YES. Because you receive anesthesia, all patients are required to have a responsible adult at the site prior to discharge to receive the discharge instructions and to drive you home.
  • Are there medicines that I should stop before having lithotripsy treatment?
    There are a large number of medicines that one needs to stop using before having lithotripsy treatment.

    We have provided a list on this site. Use the main menu to choose "Lithotripsy" under Patient Packets. Then check under "Medications."
  • What do I do if I have pain or bleeding after my procedure?
    A certain amount of discomfort and bleeding is expected after the procedure, but if you are concerned, you should call your physician who will be able to discuss you individual symptoms.
  • What if the pain or bleeding is excessive after ESWL treatment?
    Call your physician. If you can not reach your physician, you should go to the nearest emergency room. In severe emergency, you may need to call 911.

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