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How Shockwave Therapy Eradicates Kidney Stones

How Shockwave Therapy Eradicates Kidney Stones

If you've ever had a kidney stone, you know the severity of the pain they cause. While smaller kidney stones pass through your system independently, others are too large to make it through your ureters.

The team at NY Urology are experts in kidney conditions, including kidney stones and shockwave therapy. Our two nephrologists and kidney stone specialists are Dr. David Shusterman and Dr. Chong-Min Kim.

Dr. Shusterman and Dr. Chong-Min Kim provide fast and efficient care when you still have pain from kidney stones that don't pass.

The facts on extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) 

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a non-invasive treatment for kidney stones, pancreas, and bile ducts. The shock waves come from a machine called a lithotripter.

Most kidney stones are small enough to pass through your system independently. Kidney stones often aren't painful in your kidney; they only become painful when they work their way into your ureter to exit your body.

ESWL isn't an option for everyone with a kidney stone. This treatment is more effective on stones two centimeters or smaller in size. We use other criteria to determine if you're a candidate as well, including:

We don't use ESWL on huge kidney stones because they may still be too big to pass even after breaking them up. You also shouldn't have this procedure if you're pregnant because we use X-rays to find the stone in your system.

How ESWL works

ESWL works to break up kidney stones by using powerful shock waves that penetrate your body and target the stones. We use X-ray guidance to find the painful stone and direct the shock waves to break it up.

During the procedure, the lithotripter machine emits strong waves of energy, or shock waves, to split the stone into pieces. When the stone is in several parts, you can quickly pass it through your urinary system and out of your body.

Before you can have ESWL, we evaluate your condition and perform imaging studies to find the size of the bothersome stone. If your stone is the right size and your health is good, we can schedule an ESWL treatment.

What to expect from the procedure

The ESWL procedure is entirely non-invasive, meaning you don't need surgery to achieve pain relief from your kidney stone. However, we provide anesthesia for pain relief during the procedure.

You'll lie on a table with a water-filled pillow near the affected kidney. This helps us more accurately find the kidney stone with an X-ray or ultrasound.

Once we find the troublesome stone, our team aims the shock waves from the lithotriptor toward the stone. The accuracy of the machine paired with an X-ray allows our team to provide you with a more effective treatment.

The treatment takes up to an hour while we send thousands of powerful energy waves into your body to break up the stone. After your treatment, the kidney stone should be small enough to pass through your body.

We take you to the recovery room, where you'll recover from your procedure before you go home. ESWL is an outpatient procedure, and someone needs to drive you home afterward.

If you're tired of suffering from kidney stones and need treatment, call us at 212-991-9991 today to make an appointment. You can also book a consultation online using our convenient scheduling tool.

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