LithotripsyKidney 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 abnormalities.

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 be removed.

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 Lithotripsy (ESL).

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 spontaneously.

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 stone.

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 Lourdes.

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