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Dr could not find stone during lithotripsy

In March I had a CT scan to check for gallstones and it also showed my kidneys were clear of stones.  But during an ultrasound 2 wks later, a 4mm kidney stone was found.  I had my gallbladder removed in April then in May I went to a urologist and she said that a 4mm stone only has a 60% chance of passing on it's own.  We scheduled lithotripsy (ESWL).  I went in for the lithotripsy procedure in July and when I came to from the anethesia the doctor told me she could not find the stone.  She said she saw a shadow but I had a lot of gas which made it hard to see and didn't want to do the procedure unless she was sure (and I did not feel like I had a lot of gas??).  She said she checked everywhere for the stone and couldn't find it. She didn't want to put me through any other procedure to find the stone (injecting dye?).  I was very upset that the stone was not found because I am concerned about not being able to pass it.  She advised me to get another CT scan which I plan to do and then see her again to discuss.  In 2007 I did have an UTI with blood in my urine and a great amount of pain.  I had a back ache for the week before.  The doctor said that could have been a stone.  My questions are:  If I still have the stone, should I schedule another ESWL procedure and what can I do to prevent gas from being a problem again.  How common is gas a problem during ESWL?  I do not want to spend more time and money for no result but am concerned about the risk of doing nothing and winding up in the ER.  How risky would it be to do nothing?  I am not having any pain at the present time.  I would like to prevent future stones from forming but since we don't know what kind this one is I'm not sure what dietary restrictions I should follow except drinking a lot of water.  Is it possible the stone could have dissolved on it's own?  Which is more accurate a CT scan or ultrasound?  Thank you for any advise you can give me.  
6 Responses
168348 tn?1379360675
If I wasn't having any problems with the 4.0mm stone and it wasn't causing stressful pain I'd leave it alone!  It took me 3 yrs but I passed a 4.0mm stone which was calcium oxalate and my Uro said 4.0 is too small to zap bcz the size of the pieces will be so small and can even be more painful passing than the pain I was in with my 4.0mm which was very deep in the medullary layers of my kdney.

Why do they want to do the litho on a such a small stone?  

I would get numerous UTI's that were stubborn, etc.

A spiral CT scan w/o contrast is the gold standard.  However, maybe start with an ultrasound for less radiation first to see if they can locate it.

I feel bad for you .. and the gallbladder .. well, I have stones there, too, and one of these days it'll come out with next attack but all has been quiet for 2yrs.

Currently I'm stone free .. finally passed all the stones!

Avatar universal
Glad to read your comments and success on dissolving stones kidney/gall bladder.  How did you manage to dissolve it?  What course of action you have taken.  By the way my wife was tested by ultrasound and observed a 31 mm stone - either calcium or cholestrol .  No symptoms no pains, etc.  Almost 20 years plus  she is still woking and doing all household work.  Recently doctors advised and suggested to remove it   One of our friends suggested and recommended olive oil + lime juice + apple juice.  We would like to hear from you your experience so that we will try it


hare krishna
Avatar universal
That seems a little odd. The two times I have had litho, they did an xray before I went under to make sure the stones were still there. Why would they put you under and then do an xray.
Avatar universal
Hi. First I would like to start by telling you I have suffered Kidney stones for over 30 years, on an average I pass 2 stones a month. Ok first off a 4mm stone or Any stone for that matter is NOT small! 50 - 50 chance of passing a 4mm. Now this whole ordeal is just not adding up. Lithotriposys are not a good thing as it leaves small fragments and dust like material taht will turn into MORE stones...personally I think they should ban them. The "back pain" is a def. sign of a  stone along with severe flank pain. Ok if the stone is just left in the kidney it can grow quite quickley....I always try to bear the pain and at least let the stone drop into the ureter so the can use a cystoscope to remove it.....no dust no fragments but a wonderful stent is put in the ureter to add more pain. You must do 24 hour urines and have the stone analyzied so you know what is causing them. At that point they may be able to put you on meds. to prevent forming more stone. Be sure of one thing if you have 1 stone it is almost 100% you will get more...so you must find the cause. NO STONE CAN DISOLVE ON IT'S OWN! NEVER! However they do have meds to disolve them if they know what composition they are.I would try to stick with a KUB or US if that fails a CT contrast not neede will def. work. US first KUB second & CT last. The stone will not ever disolve on its own and may grow larger quite quickly. DRINK DRINK DRINK ALLTHE WATER YOU POSSIBLY CAN! Believe it or not standing on your head greatly helps. Try to be as mobile as you can avoid just laying down. CHIT CHAT only certain stones in certain locations can be blasted the Medullary is def. not a canidate! Please avoid the CT use as a last resort as there is so much radiation in the CT read up on it ladies it's most intresting. The "Gold Standard" is a US always first than KUB at a very last resort the CT. Now after the stone exitss or is removed ALWAYS beware for infections, as the bacteria will slowly destroy your kidneys many times with no warning. Chit Chat hy do you keep making stones??? You need to find the cause to find the cure! These Lithotriposys are an ideal example of this "sometimes the cure is worse than the disease". NEVER or try to avoid these Lithotriposys...there are many docs. who would love to see tham banned as do I. I hope you are feeling better and pease take my advice! Cara
Avatar universal
If you do decide to "do nothing" you will need to keep an eye that the stone is NOT growing! US or KUB few times a year. Also monitor for infection!! PLEASE CHIT & MRS FIND NEW DOCS!!! Cara
Avatar universal
I went 4 scan & found bilateral stones in my kidney(medullary zone).7mm & 3mm.Culture comfired calcium oxalate...Then i did scan & xray in another hosp 10Days later nothing was though culture stil showd oxalate crystals.I havnt urinatd normaly 4 about 6 months (uretral pains,burns,frequency,varying color;red tint.Bt no disease was seen!)my doc gave me contiflo & augmentin stil no show.I dont know wat 2 do now i hv sufferd...Help
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