About Lithotripsy

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Lithotripsy is a medical procedure utilized for the treatment of certain forms of kidney stones and stones in other organs such as the gallbladder or the liver.

Kidney stones arise when minerals and other substances in the blood crystallize in the kidneys forming solid masses (stones). When the body fails to excrete larger formations through urine, it could lead to kidney damage. People with kidney stones may experience bleeding, severe pain, or urinary tract infections. The recommended treatment for this condition is lithotripsy.


How Does Lithotripsy Work?

Lithotripsy utilizes sound waves to break up large kidney stones into smaller pieces. These sound waves are also referred to as high-energy shock waves. The waves travel into the body and break apart the stones. Lithotripsy takes about 45 minutes to an hour to perform. After lithotripsy, stone debris is removed from the kidneys or the ureter through urination.


Preparing for Lithotripsy

There is need to inform the medical doctor of the previous drugs that you have taken in recent past. This is important because some drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood thinners can interfere with the blood’s ability to clot properly. The doctor will advise you to stop taking these medications before the procedure.
The people undergoing lithotripsy need to be under local anesthesia or general anesthesia which allows them to sleep during the procedure.


Possible Risks

Internal bleeding necessitating a blood transfusion
Kidney damage
High blood pressure
Kidney failure

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