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Lithotripsy: A Solution for Kidney Stones


What is Lithotripsy?

Lithotripsy is a non-invasive procedure for treating kidney stones too large to pass through the urinary tract. This method uses shock waves to break down kidney stones and parts of the ureter. After the procedure, the small pieces of the stones are eliminated from the body through urine.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

This procedure is the most common and usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. High-energy shock waves are used, which travel through the body until they hit the kidney stones, guided by ultrasound or X-rays.

Why Do I Need This Procedure?

This procedure is performed when kidney stones are causing intense pain, bleeding, kidney damage, and urinary infections, among other symptoms.

While lithotripsy is a standard option for removing kidney stones, not all can be treated this way.

Some alternatives include:

  • A Ureteroscope is a small light probe inserted through the bladder to the ureters.

  • Use a probe (endoscope) inserted into the kidney through a small incision in the back.

  • In exceptional cases, open surgery may be required.

Before, During, and After the Procedure

Before the Procedure

If your doctor recommends lithotripsy, it's essential to talk to them before the procedure.

  • Your doctor must know if you are pregnant or think you might be.

  • Mention if you are taking any supplements or vitamins.

  • In the days leading up to the procedure, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or ibuprofen. Blood thinners help prevent blood clotting and can increase the risk of bleeding during lithotripsy. Your doctor will tell you when to stop taking these medications.

  • You may need to fast on the day of the procedure, not having eaten or drunk anything for several hours before the procedure.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and be accompanied by a friend or family member on the day of your procedure.

During the Procedure

The procedure can last between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

During the procedure, you will be lying on a table. You may be given general or local anesthesia, depending on the type of lithotripsy being performed.

After the Procedure

You will stay in a recovery room for about two hours. In most cases, patients are discharged on the same day.

Your doctor will provide you with a urine strainer to collect the pieces of stones that come out in the urine.


You may need frequent breaks during the first few days after the procedure.

Remember to drink water frequently to help flush out the fragments of kidney stones.

Lithotripsy is a procedure performed by a Urologist, a doctor specializing in treating urinary system diseases.

If you are experiencing symptoms of kidney stones or have been diagnosed with renal-ureteral lithiasis, it is essential to consult with a specialist.

At BlueNetHospitals, we have an expert team in Urology that will guide you through the entire lithotripsy process, from the initial evaluation to post-procedure follow-up. Do not hesitate to make your appointment and receive the specialized care you deserve.


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