Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)

Within this technique, sound waves generated from a generator are transmitted from the skin to the kidney stone with the guidance of fluoroscopy and / or ultrasound, and stone fragments broken by strong vibrations are removed out the body through urine. The treatment takes approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and location of the kidney stone, the device used. Additional sessions may be needed to ensure complete removal of the stones, but it is definitely not recommended to apply more than 3 sessions. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and there is no need to stay in the hospital afterwards. Thanks to the new generation devices, there is no need for anaesthesia other than paediatric patients. However, it is beneficial for the patients to use painkillers before the procedure to avoid pain.

To whom is the EWSL Treatment applied?

Although the success of the procedure depends on many factors such as the size, number, location, hardness of the kidney stone, the anatomical structure of the kidney and the distance between the stone and the skin, it is generally preferred for stones smaller than 2 cm. This procedure can be performed safely in paediatric patients, and even in paediatric patients, stones are broken and removed out from the body more easily with this method. The only drawback for paediatric patients is that this procedure is performed under anaesthesia.

To whom is the EWSL Treatment not applied?

It is risky and inconvenient to perform this procedure in pregnant women, those who use blood thinners or have bleeding disorders, those with active urinary tract infections, those with aneurysm in the main arteries and those with renal outlet stenosis.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the EWSL Compared to Surgical Methods?

The most important advantages are that it does not require anaesthesia, has less adverse effects (complications) and can be applied outpatient. The disadvantages are that the success rate is lower (especially for the hard stones located in the lower renal medulla) and the stone fragments can cause obstruction or pain when passing.

NOTE: The content of the page is for informational purposes only, consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.