Kidney Stone Treatment: Medicine vs Lithotripsy


All stones that don’t pass have dietary change requirements and medicinal treatments, however those treatments depend upon your health and the size of the stone.

Interesting: Stones can come in many different shapes, sizes and textures! Google Kidney Stone with the words pic and then Xray or Ultrsound behind it to see more.

In my case it was determined that Lithotripsy (Shock Wave Therapy) would be the best option as I have a large Uric Acid Stone. Lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure that they sedate you and then the therapy in which they send shock waves into your kidney to break the stone into small pieces that will pass.

Pro’s: It’s an outpatient procedure which takes about an hour to do and an hour in recovery. The stones for most pass in a few days with minimal of pain.

Con’s: The stones may not break up as small as needed to pass. The stones may take up to 4 months to completely pass for some people. The therapy can damage your kidney. Some people may need a second procedure. Even with insurance your out of pocket cost could be $1000.00 or more! Preventative dietary changes and medicines are often needed.


Medicinal Treatments are often used as a low cost, but effective means to dissolve the stone. The doctor said I would have to take Potassium Citrate for my Uric Acid Stone and that it would take up to 7 months with a chance of some side affects.

Pro’s: Out Of Pocket Costs about 140.00 for the 7 months. No procedure needed.

Con’s: 7 months to dissolve it. Sometimes the stone does not dissolve enough and I may need the Lithotripsy procedure as a result. Medicinal Side Affects. Dietary Changes and medicines to prevent stones may be needed.

I opted for the procedure until the doctor called telling me that after insurance I would have to pay $1000.00!

I went online and did some more research on webmd, and I learned that the risks for my type of stone are about the same with both treatment options, the treatment time may take longer, but the price is significantly less so I chose the medicine route!

I’m taking the citrate medicine and if that doesn’t work I will consider spending the $1000.00 on Lithotripsy either way I will still have saved a lot of money in the end.


Do Your Research: I found out stones are not hereditary in my family. My family does have a history (including me) of Hiatal Hernias that cause severe acid reflux which can cause stomach cancer, damage organs and eat the nutrients from food that the body needs to make the kidneys cleanse properly.

I have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in which high fiber, low carb did not work, so I was put on a higher protein diet. Meat (especially red) protein can cause uric acid stones.

I also learned that side affects of Hiatal Hernias can cause the symptoms of every diagnosis I have been given in the past 4 years!

All my old doctors admitted all this came on unexpected, but none of them went deeper into the issue to solve it. A surgeon saw the hernia, but when tests showed the acid caused damage to my body and no meds worked still refused to fix it!

My new doctors and dentist paid attention and now I am being referred to a new surgeon to fix the hernia!

I am working on switching to more plant proteins, taking vitamins regularly and getting that Hiatal Hernia fixed!

Respectfully Yours,

Anna Artiga

Pastoral/Financial Counselor and Reiki Practitioner







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