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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones at Drexel Nephrology

Kidney Stone

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a common treatment for kidney stones that uses sound waves to break dense stones into small pieces that can be easily passed through the urinary tract.

Patients undergoing extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy are placed under anesthesia and are usually discharged from the hospital the same day. Most people have a short recovery time and are able to resume normal activities in a few days.

Side effects of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy may include blood in the urine for a few days following treatment or bruising and minor discomfort in the back or abdomen from the treatment.

In some cases, stone particles may cause minor blockages as they pass through the urinary tract. To clear these blockages, the Drexel nephrologist may need to insert a stent (small tube) through the bladder and into the ureter to help the fragments pass. Occasionally, additional extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy treatments are required to destroy all of the kidney stones.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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