Kidney Stone Laser Surgery: Recovery Time and Cost of Laser Lithotripsy

Laser Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones

The presence of kidney stones can be extremely painful. In the past, treatment would mean surgery with, more often than not, an incision being made. However, with the advent of technology, lasers have now been used as a treatment method for getting rid of kidney stones. No incisions have to be made, recovery time is made shorter, and the person no longer feels the discomfort of a kidney stone.

  • This procedure is also known as laser lithotripsy.
  • Laser lithotripsy was already used in the past but the procedure was limited due to the diameter and flexibility of the cable making it hard to reach certain areas in the urinary tract such as the ureters.
  • A small instrument is inserted into the patient’s urethra up to the ureter or area containing the stone.
  • Focused laser energy is used to fragment the stone.
  • The stone is pulverized or shattered into small pieces that the patient can pass through the urine.
  • No incisions are needed for this procedure.
  • Laser lithotripsy has a higher success rate compared to traditional lithotripsy methods.
  • Laser is more effective even on complex stones.
  • Side effects from laser lithotripsy are not common but may include excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, and subsequent scarring.

Kidney Stone Laser Surgery Recovery Time

  • Recovery time for laser lithotripsy is significantly less than with an open surgery.
  • Patients are usually given one to two more days of observation after the procedure.
  • After one or two days without any complications, patients can resume their daily activities without experiencing any problems.

Kidney Stone Laser Surgery Cost

  • The cost of laser lithotripsy is quite expensive.
  • Several factors affect the cost of the procedure including where the procedure was performed, what anesthesia was used, and the extent of the procedure due to the type of stone.


  1. A G said:

    College going student and I had suffered a lot in my life due to stone problem. This time I have 2stones, one in ureters (8mm) and second one in kidney (2mm). I have taken a laser treatment also. I had never eaten junk food, alcohol etc. So, will you please suggest me what are the precautions that I should follow in my life to prevent stone formation? Secondly, what kind of diet chart should I follow? Can I live my sex life happily after laser treatment?

    January 18, 2011
  2. Tom said:

    I had a 5mm stone removed in August. I felt great immediately after the operation. The stone was painful for over a year, and now 99 percent of my pain is alleviated. I should say the operation was a 100 percent success. However, I have only minor pain in my kidney and my back area. It is three months after the operation and stent removal. Is this Normal? I am 65 years old and diabetic, and I wonder if my age has something to do with very mild kidney pain?

    November 20, 2012
    • PUP said:

      Usually once the stone and the stent are removed, the patient becomes symptomless. In rare instances there can be associated mild pain in back which may prevail for some time. There can be other reasons of back pain as well. You should talk to your doctor regarding your problem.

      November 21, 2012
  3. VK said:

    I have kidney stones and stents in both kidneys. I also have a bad heart they tell me I need both kidney stones to be removed. They want to do surgery which I have to go under anesthesia. I am a high risk patient can laser surgery be useful?

    March 17, 2015
    • PUP said:

      Laser removal of stones largely depends on the size of stone and in which part of kidney they are located. However, the best person to tell if laser surgery is better than normal surgery in your case is your surgeon. You can ask him or take one more opinion of another urologist.

      April 1, 2015
  4. Sharon said:

    I have three stones in my right kidney. Urologist says more then one treatment is required. He has already put a stent in and taken a stone out of each kidney. Anesthetist wanted me to have local anesthesia. As I had a bad experience with local anesthesia, I told her that wanted general anesthesia. She wasn’t happy with it and told me that I would have lots of muscle pain if I go for general. Well I came out fine but 12 hours later I was miserable. Ribs hurt like I had been coughing for weeks. When I asked the doctor about it, he says that I had the flu. Is there any possibility of anesthesia causing this?

    January 7, 2018

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