Picture of Lithotripsy
Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses shock waves to break up kidney stones into smaller pieces so they can pass out of the body through the urethra. Kidney stones that are 2 centimeters or more in diameter are too large for lithotripsy to be effective. Some stones may be located in a part of the urinary tract where lithotripsy cannot be used. For these cases, a surgical procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy may be used to remove the stones. In cases where the stone is in the lower part of the urinary tract, the doctor may use a ureteroscope to physically remove the stone.
Text Reference: "Lithotripsy." National Kidney Foundation.