Lithotripsy is a procedure used to remove kidney stones in a patient. A minimally invasive procedure, uses high-pressure shock waves to fragment kidney stones into sand-like particles. Lithotripsy is conducted with minimal anesthesia and reduces the need for ancillary procedures, making lithotripsy an excellent alternative to surgery.
And, if you’ve already had a kidney stone, you are at a greater risk for having another one. Your Urologist will be involved in your medical evaluation to determine testing and assessment of risk for more kidney stones. Sometimes stones will pass out of your body and your physician will likely prescribe plenty of water, plenty! And, usually a pain medication. But, if complications occur, such as a blockage or infection, then lithotripsy may be used to break up the stones so they can then pass out of the body. High energy shock waves break up the stones. The waves, which pass easily through the body without injury, but are strong enough to break the stones, are emitted by Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL.) During the procedure, patients usually lie on a water-filled cushion and x-rays or ultrasound tests are used to pinpoint the location of the stones.
Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center can assist in locating a Urologist for you, or your primary care physician can help you with a referral. Call us at 479-968-2841.