What is lithotripsy?

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Lithotripsy is also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

The Greek roots of this word lithotripsy are “litho” meaning stone, and “tripsy” meaning crushed.

  • Extracorporeal means outside of the body, and a shockwave is a pressure wave created by high-energy acoustic waves. These waves can be generated either by hydraulic or electromagnetic power.
  • Lithotripsy is a non-invasive medical procedure using shockwaves to break down stones in the kidney, gallbladder, or ureter.
  • It is an outpatient, safe procedure, allowing patients to avoid surgery and resume most activities the next day.
  • In an ESWL procedure by a Medispec device, the machine emits shockwaves that impact the stones, breaking up the deposits of minerals/kidney stones into smaller and smaller pieces until they can leave the body through natural elimination.
  • ESWL is a non-invasive approach to stone treatment resulting in lower numbers of emergency room admissions, less pain, and fewer UTI infections than other treatments.


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