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Everything You Must Know about Lithotripsy

Dec 29, 2019

Kidney, gallbladder, and ureter stones are painful and affect men and women of all ages. Usually, the stones pass on their own, but when a person has trouble passing the stone, their doctor might suggest the lithotripsy procedure if medication doesn’t work. Keep reading to learn the facts about this medical procedure.

  • The procedure breaks down stones using either extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) or laser lithotripsy.
  • Doctors use a flexible ureteroscope to perform laser lithotripsy which is why the procedure is often abbreviated as FURSL.
  • Whether ESWL or FURSL is used depends on the type of stones the patient has and their overall health.
  • ESWL takes about an hour, and FURSL takes about 30 minutes.
  • Lithotripsy can bring quick pain relief, but it takes several days or weeks for the stone to fully pass.
  • The procedure is successful in 74% of kidney stone cases; it’s successful for 88% of ureter stones.
  • The body absorbs leftover particles after the procedure.