Lithotripsy is a medical procedure used to treat kidney stones. It may also be used to treat stones in other organs, such as the gall bladder or the liver.
People with kidney stones may experience bleeding, pain, or urinary tract infections. When stones begin to cause these types of problems, your doctor may suggest lithotripsy in order to break up the stones.
How Lithotripsy Works:
Lithotripsy uses sound waves to break stones apart. These sound waves are also called high-energy shock waves. The most common form of lithotripsy is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). Extracorporeal means “outside the body,” and in this case refers to the source of the shock waves applied from outside the body using a special machine.
ESWL was introduced in the early 1980s. It quickly replaced surgery as the treatment of choice for most stones. ESWL is a non-invasive procedure, because it does not require a surgical procedure. The lithotripsy procedure takes about 45 minutes to one hour to perform. Usually, the patient will be put to sleep with general anaesthesia. Because of this, patients usually do not experience pain. Sometimes patients will be allowed to remain awake during the procedure and may even be allowed to follow the progress of the procedure on an ultrasound or X-ray monitor.
Least invasive option available
Treatment may require multiple sessions to achieve complete stone clearance
Results more likely influenced by patient size, stone types, and unfavourable kidney anatomy.
As ESWL is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to treatment. Regular medications can be taken with a sip of water with the exception of blood thinning agents or NSAID’s which need to be stopped for 7-10 days. A mid stream urine (MSU) test is required to ensure the urine is sterile before treatment is undertaken.
Patient should bring all related available imaging such as KUB (kidneys, ureter, and bladder) x-ray, CT scan abdomen, or kidney ultrasound & details of his. Her usual medications.
Strain all urine in the first 48 hours after surgery, and bring the fragments to your doctor in a dry container for stone ****ysis.
You need to drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluid per day to aid the passage of stone fragments. You will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours after surgery if you have the procedure performed under a general anaesthetic.
ESWL is not performed if you:
Are pregnant as the sound waves and x-rays may be harmful to the developing baby
Have a bleeding disorder
Have a kidney infection, urinary tract infection, or kidney cancer
Have kidneys with abnormal structure or function
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