Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

ESWL :: Flexible pyeloscopy and laser :: Ureteric Stent :: Cystoscopy
TURP :: Greenlight laser prostatectomy :: Retrograde pyelogram

Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break up stones that form in the kidney to enable easy passage of the fragments out of the body within the urine.

ESWL takes about 45 to 60 minutes to complete and is usually performed under general anaesthesia. During the procedure your body will be in contact with a cushion where high-energy sound waves travel through until they hit the kidney stones and break them into tiny pieces.

After the procedure

You will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored for a couple hours after your procedure. ESWL is usually an outpatient procedure where you are able to go home on the same day. You can usually resume regular activities within a day or two. You may experience pain when the stone fragments pass which occurs soon after treatment and may last for 4 to 8 weeks. Oral pain medications are prescribed to relieve pain. You will also be instructed to drink plenty of water to help clear the stone fragments out of your urinary system.

Risks and Complications

ESWL is considered to be a relatively safe procedure but as with any medical procedure there are risks involved. Some risks associated with ESWL include:

  • Bleeding in or around the kidney
  • Kidney infection
  • Failure to remove the stones requiring  additional treatments
  • Pain if a stone fragment blocks the flow of urine