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If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort from kidney stones, your physician may refer you to the Parkview Kidney Stone Center for a procedure called lithotripsy.

What is lithotripsy?

Lithotripsy is a non-invasive method of breaking up kidney stones using a device that produces shock waves. The shock waves are generated outside the body by a lithotripter. The shock waves pass through the skin and body tissues until they hit the stones, which are much denser. The impact of the shock waves pulverizes the stones. The small particles of stone then pass through the urinary tract and are eliminated from the body in the urine.  This procedure takes about 45-60 minutes to complete.

What are signs and symptoms of kidney stones?

  • Persistent fever
  • Chills
  • Back pain
  • Painful urination
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination

What can I expect during the procedure?

Each person experiences the treatment differently, but it usually takes only one hour. Because kidney stones can be painful or uncomfortable, most people receive some type of general or regional anesthesia for the treatment. Using X-rays and or ultrasound, your care team will determine the exact location of the stone and accurately focus the shock waves. After administration of anesthesia, the lithotripter will generate the shock waves and pulverize the stone.

How long will it take me to recover?

In most cases, you can return to normal activity within hours. Some people may have some discomfort until the stone fragments have passed. Some people also have fevers, intestinal upset, skin bruising and some blood in the urine. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication to help make you more comfortable. If you think your discomfort is extreme, let your doctor know right away. 

Should I follow up with my doctor after the procedure?

Your doctor will most likely schedule a follow-up appointment in six weeks. Your doctor will review the results of the lithotripsy and determine whether you need more treatments. Your doctor may also give you some lifestyle and diet tips to help you reduce your risk of future kidney stones.

Can all kidney stones be treated using lithotripsy?

Lithotripsy is a good option for many kidney stone patients, but some situations may require a different approach.

  • If the stone is too large, pulverization with lithotripsy may create too many particles for the urinary system to eliminate easily. Stent placement and/or a repeat procedure may be required.  An alternative treatment may also be recommended.
  • If the stone is too small or difficult to pinpoint, lithotripsy may not be used.
  • Location or stone type may be a factor. Stones located in the kidney can be pulverized more easily than those in the ureter. Some stones are too dense and may not break up well.

If lithotripsy is not an option for you, your physician will discuss other options to remove your kidney stones.

Where can I receive Lithotripsy treatment?

The Parkview Kidney Stone Center is located inside the Premier Surgery Center at the Parkview Outpatient Center on the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus. Free parking is available at Entrance 3. 

Parkview Kidney Stone Center
Parkview Regional Medical Center campus
Parkview Outpatient Center, Suite 200
Entrance 3
11141 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
(260) 266-9070