ESWL is a non-invasive procedure, which means it doesn’t require surgery. Non-invasive procedures are generally safer and easier to recover from than invasive procedures.
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How does ESWL work?
The most common form of lithotripsy which is the ESWL uses a special device called a lithotripter which generates shock waves. As you lie on a water filled cushion the surgeon uses an X-ray or an ultrasound device to locate the position of the stone in your kidney. This will allow the surgeon to focus the shock wave precisely to the location of the stone and it will reduce the risk of the damage to other structures close by. The shockwave will then mechanically break the large stone into fragments which will pass with urine.
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What does the treatment involve?
You will be positioned on an operating table. A soft, water-filled cushion may be placed on your abdomen or behind your kidney. The body is positioned so that the stone can be targeted precisely with the shock wave. About 1-2 thousand shock waves are needed to crush the stones. The complete treatment takes about 45 to 60 minutes.
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A nonsurgical technique for treating stones in the kidney or ureter (the tube going from the kidney to the bladder) using Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy procedure.