Lithotripsy is a process in which kidney stones are treated. In this procedure of lithotripsy, sound waves are used to break up the kidney stones into smaller particles/fragments. These shock waves possess very high energy and this is the reason for the fragmentation of the stones. This process is known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or ESWL.
How Does Lithotripsy Work?
This procedure is done from outside the body. That is why it is termed as Extracorporeal. Lithotripter is an electrical machine used especially for lithotripsy. It produces the high-frequency shockwaves. These are concentrated on the part of the body where the stones are formed from outside the body.
It generally takes one hour to complete the whole procedure. It requires mild anesthesia so that during the breaking no pain is felt by the patient, however most patients prefer and get treatment without it. After the ESWL is done the fragmented stones are passed out by the body by urination.
How to Prepare for Lithotripsy?
Before the procedure, one must not withhold any information regarding the medicines they take or have been taking. So medicines can lead to problems in the clotting of blood. The doctor will recommend you what to and what not to take before the procedure. Now it is up to the doctor to administer general or local anesthesia. In general anesthesia, you will be asleep during the process and will not feel any pain. And in local anesthesia, you will not feel anything in the area where it is administered.
What to Expect During Lithotripsy?
In the procedure, you will be admitted and released after the procedure on the same day. You will be made to lie on a cushion will water filled in it. Then ESWL will be performed after which you will be given a medicine to fight against any infection, if at all, which may have generated during the procedure.
After lithotripsy is done you, will be made to rest for some time after which you will be relieved. Or the doctor may recommend you to stay at the hospital for a night. Just remember one thing, the more you urinate the faster the fragments will clear out from your body.
Risks of Lithotripsy
Lithotripsy has little risks which such as internal bleeding. Also, there are chances of problems in the kidney when the fragments pass out through urination. This can lead to high infection rates and thereafter antibiotics are needed. A proper intake of water and antibiotics after each session can result in smooth recovery