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Personal stories about treating kidney stones with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Roy, age 32: I have had a kidney stone before. I remember the pain, and the medicine did not help me all that much. When I started to pass another stone, I knew right away that I wanted to try breaking up the stone. Hopefully the stone will pass more easily and cause less pain.

José, age 38: I have several friends who have had kidney stones. They told me how much it hurt. Now that I am passing a stone, I know what they mean. My doctor gave me a strong pain medicine, and we talked about having the stone broken up to make it pass easier. But I prefer to avoid any medical procedures if I can. My doctor says it should only take a few days to pass the stone, and as long as the pain medicine works, I'll get through it okay.

Marge, age 50: I went to the doctor because of the pain in my side. She did some tests and told me I have a kidney stone. She said it is pretty large, but it should pass on its own. However, she also said that because of its size, it might take awhile to pass and the pain could be pretty intense. We decided to break up the stone using ESWL to try to reduce the time it takes to pass and the pain involved.

Rita, age 28: The doctor told me my pain is being caused by a kidney stone that I'm passing. He gave me some strong pain medicine and said I could have the stone broken up, which might make it pass more easily. He also told me the stone is pretty small and should pass soon. I'm going to try the pain medicine and make sure I drink enough water for now. If the pain gets to be too bad, I can change my mind and have the stone broken up.

Author Monica Rhodes
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Philip Belitsky, MD, FRCSC - Urology
Last Updated May 30, 2007

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2007
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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