Introducing Kidney Stone Lithotripsy, your alternative to surgery.
Today, painful kidney stones can be successfully eliminated in 95 percent of cases diagnosed for surgery through a new nonsurgical procedure. Using the most advanced medical technology available, lithotripsy disintegrates kidney stones with a special high pressure shock wave treatment. The treatment lasts only about one hour. Shock wave lithotripsy avoids the pain and discomfort of surgery, is less costly than surgery and has a greatly reduced recovery time.
Lithotripsy, an advanced treatment available for painful kidney stones, is offered at Mon General Hospital. The Storz Kidney Lithotripter is an alternative to kidney stone surgery. By using focused shock waves, the lithotriper can disintegrate kidney stones.
Ninety-five percent of kidney stone cases diagnosed for surgery can be successfully treated by lithotripsy. However, this procedure is not recommended for pregnant women, people weighing more than 350 pounds and patients with cardiac problems or taking blood thinning drugs. It is also inappropriate for hemophiliacs and patients whose kidney stone is too close to the bladder or where it cannot be seen by X-ray.
What to Expect
If you are scheduled to receive lithotripsy, your physician will give you a complete physical and record your medical history. A laxative or anti-gas tablet will be prescribed and you will not be allowed to eat, smoke, or chew tobacco or gum the night before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, an I.V. (intravenous fluids) will be started and you may receive sedation or an appropriate anesthetic. A catheter (a small rubber tube) may be placed in your ureter before the procedure to assure passage of the stone particles once the procedure is completed. Your blood pressure, pulse and other vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure.
You will be secured into a patient stretcher designed for your comfort. The stretcher will then be positioned against the water cushion by a trolley. Two adjustable sections, one for the upper body and one for the lower body, allow for easy positioning during treatment. The stone will be imaged and targeted. A self-contained water cushion, through which shock waves are transmitted, is placed against the patient's side. Special high pressure shock waves are directed towards the stone until it gradually disintegrates into sand-size particles which are easily passed in the urine. In most cases, treatment takes about one hour. For several days after the procedure, increase your fluid intake to 10-12 glasses per day to assist in passing the stone particles. That's two to three quarts of liquid.
The passage of the stone particles can take a few days to a few months.
Side effects, such as muscular aches and pain, may follow your treatment. Other symptoms, which your physician will discuss with you, may occur. Follow-up visits to your physician are important to ensure your recovery.
If you have any questions regarding Mon General Hospital's lithotripsy program, contact one of the hospital's urologists; see Related Doctors, on the right.