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Urology/Kidney stone


Dear Doctor,

In 1995, my mother underwent ESWL treatment to remove a 10.5mm stone in right kidney.

Now again,my mother has been diognised with a 12mm stone & a 4mm in left kidney & a 7mm stone in right kidney.

Doctor advises to undergo ESWL again to remove the available kidney stones. But my mother is afraid that she might not recover from the side effects of ESWL due to her old age( 60yrs).

Whether any alternative options are available with less side effects ? whether she can recover from ESWL side effects at 60yrs ?

Kindly advise us with your valuable opinion in this background.

best regards,

Geoffrey & Family,
Tamil Nadu,


ESWL or lithotripsy has the lowest overall side effects of any means of treatment for her kidney stones.  And 60 years is not considered "old" by most of us.  (I'm 64 myself and I certainly don't feel "old" yet!)

Ureteroscopy can be done where a telescope is passed into the bladder, up the ureter and into the kidneys where lasers can be used to break up the stones, but these stones are relatively large and this technique can be difficult.  Another option is open surgery like we used to do before lithotripsy, but his would obviously involve far more side effects than the ESWL.

Clearly this patient also needs a 24 hour urine for kidney stone prevention testing.  Evaluating this information can be complicated so you may need to do some research to find a local expert.  Try a university medical school affiliated center in a larger city as they are more likely to have such an expert.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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