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Saturday, 20 Oct 2018

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

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ESWL uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into fragments that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and thus pass from the body. A fluid-filled cylinder is applied to the back of the body as the patient lies on the operative table.  Once X-Rays localize the stone, high-energy shock waves are passed through the body without injury and break the stone into small pieces that can pass through the urinary tract more easily than a larger stone.

The ESWL procedure is usually done as an outpatient under anesthesia and the patient goes home the same day.  Over the next few days, the stone fragments pass.  For 90% of patients with stones smaller that 10mm, either in the kidney or in the ureter, ESWL either gets rid of the stone completely or leaves only small fragments that do not cause any symptoms.

Dr. Loisides has performed over 500 ESWL procedures.