Side Effects of Lithotripsy

Side Effects of Lithotripsy

Side Effects of Lithotripsy


As efforts are made to improve the modern medical techniques and procedures on an everyday basis, a cesspool of myths and rumors continue to build up with every day passing. The word of mouth has certainly been instrumental in the propagation of baseless facts. However, in our opinion, it is the lack of simplified discussions that play a key role in the promotion of rumors. We cannot expect everyone to understand an article on NCBI about the expected complications after lithotripsy! However, what we do expect you to understand is the discussion we are going to have today. We are going to talk about the need for lithotripsy, the possible side effects of the process, and, in some cases, the causes of severe pain after lithotripsy. All we want in return is a promise that you are going to stick with us till the end!

Who needs lithotripsy?

Only those who suffer from kidney stones. An important consideration in this regard is of course the fact that lithotripsy is prescribed and advised only when the kidney stones assume a form and shape that is too big for the ureter. Why kidney stones form in the first place? For the sake of keeping things simple, we are not going to jump into all the nephrological details of the disorder. But you must know that these stones are primarily calcium oxalate stones by nature.

What happens in lithotripsy?

Just a quick recap of the process before we discuss the side effects associated with lithotripsy. That by the way, is the central theme around which this discussion has been orchestrated. Anyhow, lithotripsy, or most types of lithotripsy, is non-invasive. No surgical cuts or incisions need to be made to remove kidney stones from your body. The lithotripsy machine is used to direct shockwaves at the body of the patient. The beam has enough energy to crush the stones into passable pieces. An X-ray monitor is constantly showing the position of stones inside a patient’s body. This helps in focusing the waves on the exact spot where the target stone is.

Is lithotripsy painful?

While the process itself is non-invasive, one can experience some degree of pain once the crushed stones are to be removed from the ureter. Passing out the broken stones often leads to bleeding, something that your urologist should be able to handle. Abdominal pain is associated with lithotripsy as well, the degree of which depends on the extent of stone formation in the kidney. However, overall, the process is painless.

Side effects of lithotripsy

Lithotripsy side effects such as back pain are common in the case of percutaneous lithotripsy. In this type of lithotripsy, an incision is created at the posterior side of the patient’s body for the removal of stones that are too big to be passed normally. Other common side effects include bleeding, which occurs because the energy beam is focused in an uncontrolled manner, thereby damaging the organ. In a rare event, if the proper surgical protocols are not followed after the laser lithotripsy for kidney stone removal, chances of infection are there as well.

Lithotripsy long-term side effects: myth or fact?

Evidence is still being collected when it comes down to the long-term side effects of lithotripsy. However, there does exist enough data which shows that a lithotripsy adventure can contribute to problems such as hypertension and diabetes. Lithotripsy can induce the former while has the potential to speed up the latter. In several other instances, it has been reported that lithotripsy can do more harm than good. You must be wondering how? Well, according to NCBI, in some cases, lithotripsy has been reported to exacerbate the process of stone formation.

Lithotripsy cost

How much can breaking the stones cost? A lot, we can tell you that much with certainty. Several factors determine the final cost of the procedure, such as the quality of the lithotripsy machine used, type of lithotripsy, institute charges, etc. But we can tell you this much that it is no cheap business, the average bill can be pretty much anywhere between $5000-$10,000. And in some cases, depending upon the number of sessions, it can be even more than that! If you ever catch the giving bug, how about you help someone afford the process? There are many from the underprivileged section of the society, who are looking towards you at the Transparent Hands!

Fund lithotripsy at Transparent Hands

When it comes to crowdfunding for health in Pakistan, Transparent Hands provides a free range of surgical and medical procedures. From medical and surgical treatments to medical camps and telehealth facilities, the NGO makes sure that the underprivileged Pakistanis have access to basic quality healthcare services. Pakistanis donate a large sum of money every year in the form of Sadaqah and Zakat. Transparent Hands is such a platform where donors can donate any sum they want, in the form of Sadaqah or Zakat, and allocate that particular amount to a patient of their choosing. To donate, donors can log in to the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal.


Well, folks, that would be all for now. We wish we could talk about the different types of lithotripsy in detail, but we have run out of space here. Still, we are hopeful that you learned something of value from this discussion. Did you enjoy reading this? We extracted facts from scientific journals and presented them in a simple manner in front of you. We are one hundred percent sure that if this approach is adopted as a habit by scientific journals, more and more people will find reading about medical procedures interesting. Till the sun of that day rises, we bid you farewell!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.