Referral Line 800-216-5556 | Text Size: View larger font-size View regular font-size


Last Updated Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:53:56 AM

The purpose of ESWL is to pulverize kidney stones to the extent that the fragments may pass spontaneously. ESWL does not actually remove the kidney stone. Rather the sand-like particles, created by breaking the kidney stone, must pass out of the kidney- through the ureter and out of the bladder.

Thirty percent of patients will have pain as the particles pass out of the urinary system. This pain may be quite intense, and if the pain medicine does not relieve the suffering you should contact your urologist. 10 to 20 percent of patients will require additional ESWL treatment. These additional treatments may be due to the size and position of the stones. Large stones are more likely to require multiple treatment sessions, but even small stones may require more than one treatment.

Ten percent of patients will require supplemental procedures. These include the placement of a percutaneous nephrostomy (a tube inserted into the kidney through the back), a cystoscopy with ureteral catheterization, stone manipulation or ureteroscopy.

Within three months, 90 percent of patients after ESWL will be stone free.

Bleeding around the kidney has occurred in some patients but this complication is quite rare.

ESWL will not prevent the formation and growth of new kidney stones. Not all stones can be prevented; however metabolic evaluation and medical therapy by your urologist may significantly reduce the chance of new stone formation.

Please contact your urologist if you experience a fever above 100.5° Fahrenheit, or severe pain not relieved by the oral medications prescribed for you, or vomiting that persists 24 hours after the procedure. If you have difficulty urinating please contact your urologist.

Call your doctor's office and make a follow-up appointment to see you urologist after your procedure.

Urology Center
El Camino Hospital
Los Gatos

Image of Los Gatos Campus Entrance

El Camino Hospital Los Gatos
Urology Services
815 Pollard Road
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Phone: 408-866-7331

Maps & Directions

Discharge Instructions

Image of discharge instructions sheet. Click to download this PDF.

Download a PDF of our discharge instructions.