What is Lithotripsy?
Lithotripsy is a medical procedure that treats kidney stones. It aims shock waves at the abdomen to fragment stones in the kidney. After this procedure, the tiny pieces of stones pass out through urine. The full name for this treatment is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.
In this procedure, the patient lies on top of a soft cushion through which the waves pass. A few thousand shock waves are sent to break the stones. The whole treatment normally takes about an hour.
In lithotripsy anaesthesia – either local, regional or general – is applied to help the patient remain still and to reduce their discomfort. In most cases, the patient remains in the hospital for a day or two. Lithotripsy may also be done as an outpatient procedure.
Side-effects of Lithotripsy:
Like any medical procedure, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy has side-effects. A patient with kidney stones who undergoes lithotripsy may suffer from certain complications. The side-effects of lithotripsy are the following:
A small amount of bleeding is likely to occur and the blood is often visible in the urine.
After the treatment, occasional infections within the urinary tract can become common resulting in high fevers and chills.
- Stone fragments may remain that require more lithotripsies:
For some kidney stones, multiple treatments may be needed to sufficiently fragment the stones.
- Pain during urination:
The patient may experience a painful, burning feeling when they urinate.
What to Expect After a Kidney Stone Treatment:
The recovery process from a kidney stone surgery is different for different types of procedures. If you have an external shock wave lithotripsy procedure, then you will require at least two to three days to recover from it. During your recovery, you will need to drink many litres of water. Hydration is key for you to regain your strength. Any side effects that you experience will linger until you pass all of the stone fragments in your urine.
The Kidney Stone Clinic provides effective lithotripsy treatments, with little to no side-effects. If you have kidney stones and want to have a safe procedure, come to us.