Before Your Treatment
What you need to know about preparing for lithotripsy:
- Some lab tests will be required, which will vary depending on your age, existing medical conditions, and medications that you’re currently taking.
- Your doctor will provide you with instructions, including limitations on eating and drinking, as well as medications to discontinue, prior to treatment.
- Since you’ll be under general anesthesia for your treatment, you’ll need to pre-arrange for a friend or family member to take you home.
During Your Treatment
What you can expect during your lithotripsy treatment:
- For maximum comfort, you’ll lie on a water-filled bed.
- You’ll be given general anesthesia so that you’re comfortably asleep.
- We’ll use X-rays to precisely locate your stone just prior to treatment.
- Your urologist will then use the lithotripter to direct high-energy sound waves through your body to break up the stone into small pieces.
- Throughout the procedure, your urologist will monitor the fragmentation of your kidney stone, using highly specialized video x-ray equipment.
- Treatment typically lasts 30-45 minutes, after which you’ll remain in the recovery area until your anesthesia wears off.
After Your Treatment
During your recovery, you may experience:
- Discomfort for the first few days in the kidney area
- Minor bruising on your back where the waves passed through your skin
- Some blood tinges in your urine for the first 24-48 hours after treatment
- Passing of stone fragments, typically within 24 hours but sometimes longer
You may resume a light to normal diet, as you feel hungry. Be sure to drink at least one to two quarts of water daily and avoid alcohol for the first 24-48 hours. If you experience a fever, uncontrollable pain or vomiting, contact your doctor right away.
Preventing Future Kidney Stones
After your procedure, it’s very important to follow a kidney-friendly diet to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones. Below are some suggested dietary guidelines to follow:
- Stay hydrated, ideally drinking one to two quarts of water daily.
- Avoid oxalate-rich foods (such as spinach, beets, tea, chocolate, strawberries, nuts).
- Reduce sodium intake to 2-3 grams/day.
- Avoid processed foods (hot dogs, deli meats, etc.).
- Eat meat in moderation, limiting to 4-6 ounces daily.
- Increase consumption of citrus, particularly lemons.
Following your lithotripsy procedure, it’s highly recommended that you consult with a registered dietician who can help you create the right diet plan for you, unique to your needs. Learn more about our Nutrition Services.