Most patients experience some degree of discomfort for a day or two after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) treatment for kidney stones. The pain is usually described as a dull ache over the kidney, and is typically at its worst the evening following surgery. The pain lessens over the following days. It is normal to see blood in the urine for several weeks after surgery.
Several weeks following ESWL treatment, your urologist will perform a follow-up X-ray, to determine if the stone broke up into small pieces, and if those small pieces passed out of the kidney.
If the stone has broken up into small fragments, but the fragments have not cleared, the x-rays may be repeated again following another several weeks.
If the stone still has not broken up into small fragments, your urologist will likely recommend further treatment. In most cases, if the stone does not break up following one ESWL treatment, more ESWL treatments are unlikely to be successful. In this situation, other treatments may be recommended