Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
What is a Lithotripsy?
A lithotripsy is a medical procedure involved in removing kidney / bladder stones through the use of different processes. Kidney and bladder stones are solid pieces of material that form when substances normally found in the urine, such as minerals and acid salts, become concentrated and crystallized. These stones can grow up to the size of a golf ball. If the stone attempts to exit through the urinary tract, this may lead to immense pain and likely bleeding. Through the lithotripsy procedure, these stones are broken down through the use of laser or shock waves.
Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This is the most common form of removing a kidney or bladder stone. The procedure involves using shockwaves that come from outside of the body. Your Urologist will target the area where the kidney stone is and begin breaking it into smaller pieces. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy is a non-invasive procedure. Once the stones have been broken down into ideally “dust,” then they may travel through the urinary tract. Sometimes the stones may still be slightly too large and further treatment may be required.
Post Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
Effects of lithotripsy sometimes may be painful. You’re likely to see bleeding within your urine and pains within your lower abdomen. The best way to relieve pain is to drink large amounts of water and using some type of oral pain medication. If problems persist for more than a week such as continued bleeding, severe pain, or a strong feeling of needing to urinate, then contact your health care provider immediately. Although seldom, these kidney stones may cause bleeding near the kidney, a blockage within your urinary tract or possibly severe damage where the stone was residing.
Contact a medical professional at Z Urology if you have any of the following symptoms,
- Blood in the urine.
- Painful or frequent urination.
- Foul-smelling or cloudy urine.
- Fever (if an infection is present.)