What is Lithotripsy?
Lithotripsy is the most advanced treatment for kidney stones currently available. Lithotripsy eliminates kidney stones without surgery, with far less discomfort and risk than surgical methods, and at a lower cost. Recovery time is also greatly reduced.
How does Lithotripsy work?
Lithotripsy, a non-surgical treatment, uses water-born shock waves which are directed at the kidney stones. The shock waves literally break the kidney stone into tiny sand-like particles which then safely passed during normal urinary function.
What should I expect?
You will be placed on a support stretcher designed for your comfort. The stretcher will be positioned against a self-contained water cushion. With a light pen, the physician will mark the location of the kidney stone on dual computer monitors that display the stone’s x-ray image. The computer than automatically positions the stone in the shock wave focus. Shock waves are directed toward the stone until it gradually disintegrates into sand-like particles, which are then passed during normal urinary function.
What are the benefits of Lithotripsy?
Eliminates the need for surgery:
- Minimal pain and discomfort
- Performed on an outpatient basis
- Costs less than surgery
Requires shorter recovery period:
- Resume normal activity almost immediately
- Many patients discharged the same day of treatment
Has a proven track record:
- More than 500,000 patients world-wide have been treated successfully
- Kidney stones can be eliminated in over 90% of the cases diagnosed for surgery
- Low incidence of complications
How long will it take?
Generally the treatment lasts approximately 45 minutes to one hour – depending upon the size, type and position of the kidney stone.
Repeated application of shock waves toward the kidney stone reduces the stone to fine sand-like particles which are then safely passes during normal urinary function.
Will I feel anything?
The treatment is not painful, and does not require any incision. Generally, the level of pain is so low that in many cases no anesthesia is necessary. You will hear a repetitive tapping noise. This tapping is the sound of the shock waves.
What tests are required before my Lithotripsy?
Your urologist will arrange any necessary medical tests to provide the best possible care.
What should I do to prepare for Lithotripsy treatment?
- Do not drink or eat anything after mid-night the night before your lithotripsy.
- Ask your physician about taking any prescription medications and/or over-the-counter drugs, including aspirin.
- On the day of treatment, wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes.
- Do not wear any make-up, including mascara, and remove all nail polish.
- Leave all valuables and jewelry at home.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after you procedure.
Cancellations are sometimes unavoidable. If possible, we ask that you notify your urologist one-day in advance. This courtesy assists the staff in daily scheduling.
What if I still have questions about my Lithotripsy treatment?
If you still have questions regarding your lithotripsy treatment, you should call your urologist.