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Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses sound waves to break up stones in the kidney, ureter, or bladder. The stone pieces then pass out of your body through your urine. You may have blood in your urine for a few days or weeks. You may also have bruising and discomfort in your back or abdomen. You may have pain or nausea whenever you pass pieces of your kidney stone. This may happen over a few weeks.

Kidney Stones


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have chest pain.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have trouble thinking clearly.
  • You have severe lower back pain.
  • You urinate bright red blood.
  • You have severe vomiting.
  • You cannot urinate.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever and chills.
  • You feel burning when you urinate.
  • You feel the urge to urinate often and immediately.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines can help decrease pain or prevent an infection. Medicines may also help you pass the stones or prevent more stones from forming.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Strain your urine every time you go to the bathroom. Urinate through a strainer or a piece of thin cloth to catch the stones. Take the pieces to your follow-up visits.
    Look for Stones in the Filter
  • If you have a stent, do not pull on it. This can cause pain and bleeding.
  • Apply heat on your lower back to decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
  • Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink more liquid than usual. This will help flush any remaining small pieces of stone. Liquids can also help prevent more stones from forming. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not drink caffeine.
  • Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you can drive, return to work, and do your normal activities.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Ask if you need to make changes to the foods you eat. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, and fish. You may need to limit nuts, chocolate, coffee, and certain green leafy vegetables. You may also need to limit meat and salt.
    Healthy Foods

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.