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Failed Lithotripsy.


Recently had lithotripsy done for a 4mm x 9mm (calcium oxalate) kidney stone. An X-ray was taken before the procedure showed the stone was in the middle of the ureter. Upon waking after the procedure, I was told the doctor pushed the stone back up into the kidney, lithotripsy was performed and the stone had broken up nicely. A stent was also put in place (I'm in America, btw).

I went in for my two week follow up, which included another X-ray, and the stone was back in the same place but "slightly more fractured and a bit narrower". The stone is jammed against the uretal wall and the stent and now I'm getting the occasional bouts of pressure.

Mainly, I'm leery about a second lithotripsy due to potential long term health implications. Plus, I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on another failed procedure.

In the course of researching, it sounds like uteroscopy may only be an option on stones that are 2-4mm in diameter, which I am pushing those limits.

Curious if anyone else has had similar experiences? Short of expressing my concerns, I'm not sure what to do if the doctor recommends lithotripsy again.


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  • BSquared cameron66719

    Hey Cameron,

      I had a similar experience.  8mm stone in the ureter. Confirmed by CT Scan and, 10 days before surgery, an x-ray.  Went in for the lithotripsy.  After the doctor said he couldn't find the stone.  He put in a stent.

      3 weeks later I had the stent removed at 8am.  By 10am I was in excruciating pain.  Went in at 4pm for a CT Scan which revealed a 1.1cm stone in the ureter. Had another lithotripsy that night and, this time, he got the stone.  Recovering now and feeling much better than I did after the first lithotripsy.

      The doctor believes the stone got pushed back into the kidney by a wire or dye infusion during the first procedure and got into a place where he couldn't find it.  He looked for 40 minutes with 2 scopes.  

      For me the second operation was a must.  At 1.1cm it is unlikely the stone would have passed.  I'm glad I did it and will be even happier when I remove the stent next week.

    Hope this was helpful.

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