Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) for Kidney Stones
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the
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What To Expect After Treatment
ESWL is usually an
After ESWL, stone fragments usually pass in the urine for a few days and cause mild pain. If you have a larger stone, you may need more ESWL or other treatments.
Why It Is Done
ESWL may be used on a person who has a kidney stone that is causing pain or blocking the urine flow. Stones that are between 4 mm (0.16 in.) and 2 cm (0.8 in.) in diameter are most likely to be treated with ESWL.
ESWL may work best for kidney stones in the kidney or in the part of the
ESWL is usually not used if you:
How Well It Works
ESWL works for most people who have small kidney stones—either in the kidney or in the
Complications of ESWL include:
What To Think About
ESWL does not replace the need for the preventive treatment of kidney stones, such as drinking enough fluids so that you don't get
ESWL does not successfully treat cystine kidney stones. These stones do not break up easily.
ESWL is a safe procedure and may be used on children and on individuals with only one working kidney. ESWL should not be used if you have a pacemaker unless a
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