How It WorksThe kidney's job is to filter chemicals that the body can not use out of the blood. Under certain conditions, chemicals in the urine may form kidney stones. These stones block the flow of urine through the urinary tract, causing severe pain.

Lithotripsy is a treatment that helps the body rid its self of kidney stones with a minimum amount of pain. It is also known by the name of ESWL (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy).

How is lithotripsy different?
This treatment is noninvasive procedure. During which carefully directed shock waves pass harmlessly through the body and hit the stone, causing it to crumble into small pieces. These
pieces will be small enough to pass through the urinary tract with the rest of the body's filtered chemicals.

A stent is sometimes used to help keep urine flowing from the kidney. An IV may also be used during the procedure to you help relax or go to sleep. After the procedure nurse or doctor will monitor your recovery for several hours.

Are there any possible complications?
Complications of lithotripsy are rare, but include the following:
  1. Infection
  2. Bleeding of the kidney
  3. Bruising of the kidney or skin
  4. Obstruction of the ureter
  5. Failure of the stone to fragment

It is always important to follow all directions provided by the doctor and continue to visit your doctor as scheduled.