A procedures that uses shock waves to break up kidney stones that are too large to pass comfortably or safely when emptying the bladder.  An indwelling “stent” is inserted into the kidney to help flush out urine (water) and stone particles.  A suture or “string” attached to the stent is usually visible leaving the lower urinary tract; this suture “string” is most often taped to the groin area (outside the body).

Possible Side Effects of Lithotripsy:

  1. Feeling the need for frequent urination (emptying the bladder).
  2. Burning when emptying the bladder.
  3. Pain or pressure in treated kidney when urinating.
  4. Bruising on lower back over treated kidney.
  5. Mild swelling and soreness over kidney area.
  6. Blood tinged urine.
  7. These side effects usually clear within 2-3 days, but blood tinged urine may come and go (especially with increased activities) until all stone particles pass and stent is removed.


  1. Do not drive, operate hazardous machinery, drink alcohol or make any important decisions for the next 24 hours.  A responsible adult should remain with you for the next 24 hours.
  2. NO heavy activity (sports, jogging, aerobic, etc.) for the next 24 hours.  Begin walking twice a day on the morning following Lithotripsy; may resume normal activities in 3-4 days.
  3. Diet as tolerated.  Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily in addition to usual fluids in order to flush stone particles out.  Continue until doctor informs otherwise.
  4. Strain all urine and save stone particles; take particles to doctor.  Stone particles may or may not pass within hours of procedure; often removal of stent is necessary before stone particles are seen.

Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  1. Fever of 101 degrees F or above.
  2. Chills.
  3. Unable to empty bladder.
  4. Headache or pain not relieved by medicine ordered by doctor.
  5. Bright red blood in urine – more than “blood-tinged.”
  6. Stent (plastic) comes out.

If unable to contact your doctor and feel you have an emergency, go the Emergency Department.