stones are a common affliction for over one million people in the
United States each year. Stones form when certain minerals in the
uterine crystallize. The exact mechanisms causing kidney stones
have been researched extensively, but are not well understood. The
risk factors that are associated with stone formation are diet,
age, climate, infection, inherited disorders, and metabolic
How Can Stones Be Removed?
Most stones are small and will eventually be pushed out of the
urinary tract on their own. However, this may require several very
painful episodes over several weeks. If the pain cannot be
controlled, if there is infection, or if the stone (s) is not
passing on its own (usually because it is too large), then it can
The size, location, and visibility of the stone on the x-ray will
dictate the best method for removal. Generally, most kidney stones
can be removed by using Extracorporeal Shock Wave
What Is Extracorpreal Shockwave Lithotripsy?
This technology is one of the most revolutionary developments in
modern medicine. Since the early eighties, this noninvasive therapy
has replaced open surgery for most kidney stones. The procedure
uses high-energy shock waves produced outside the body to break
stones into small fragments, which can then be passed
Preparing For Your Lithotripsy Procedure
A few days before your Lithotripsy procedure x-rays, ultrasound,
urinalysis, urine culture, and blood tests may be taken. This is to
identify the precise size, location and composition of the
Is Lithotripsy A Surgical Procedure?
Lithotripsy, unlike a surgical procedure, does not require an
incision into the skin. You simply lie on the treatment table while
the shock waves pass through your body and directly into your
kidney stone (s). X-ray imaging, sometimes in combination with
ultrasound, is used to position your stone (s) in the focal zone.
These two imaging technologies assist your doctor in accurately
pointing the shock waves directly at the stone (s) which is crucial
to the successful disintegration of your stone (s).
Ask your physician about Lithotripsy at