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.