In this procedure, shock waves are used to break up stones inside a kidney or ureter.
Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses shock waves to break up stones inside the bladder, kidneys or ureters. (Ureters are tubes that drain urine from the kidney to the bladder.) The small pieces are then passed out of the body in the urine.
Lithotripsy can be recommended for several reasons based on problems caused by the stone, including:
Lithotripsy can be done in an outpatient hospital setting or an ambulatory surgery center (ASC). During the procedure, you will lay on a soft cushion filled with water. You will be given medication to keep you comfortable and an antibiotic to prevent infection. You may feel some tapping and discomfort as the shock waves go through your body and break up the stones. The procedure typically takes about an hour and no surgical incision is needed.
Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a lithotripsy?
After your lithotripsy, your healthcare provider should let you know what you had done and what medication was given. He/she should also provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and how they were handled. Make sure you understand all home care instructions, including:
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