Lithotripsy: Treatment & Prevention of Kidney Stones
Northern Louisiana Medical Center provides advanced technology in the treatment of patients with kidney stones. The hospital offers advanced shock wave lithotripsy and laser lithotripsy services to destroy stones in the kidneys and ureters.
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard, crystal-like mass that develops in the kidney. Under normal circumstances, your kidney will collect and dissolve your body’s waste materials and send them to the bladder to be excreted. Kidney stones result when solid waste materials do not dissolve into the urine. Over time, these materials build up and form kidney stones.
How does lithotripsy work?
The word “lithotripsy” literally means to break (tripsy) a stone (litho). The most common type of lithotripsy is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), a procedure that sends shock waves through the body to break the stone into pieces. It is a non-invasive procedure that can be completed in less than an hour.
On the day of your lithotripsy treatment, you may undergo x-rays and other diagnostic procedures so your doctor can locate and examine your stone. In most cases you will receive a general or regional anesthetic.
Your doctor will discuss your anesthesia options with you prior to the treatment.
Kidney Stones - When to Call a Doctor
Call a doctor immediately if you have symptoms that suggest you have a kidney stone, such as:
- Severe pain in your side, abdomen, groin or genitals. It may get worse in waves.
- Blood in your urine.
Only your doctor can determine if lithotripsy is the right treatment for the relief of your kidney stone pain.