Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Lithotripsy

This is the most common method of dealing with kidney stones less than 2 cm in size.

The kidney stone is located and targeted using X-ray imaging or ultrasound scanning. While you are lying down, the lithotriptor sends targeted shock waves to break up the kidney stone into pieces small enough to be passed naturally. Sometimes you will experience pain as the stone fragments pass. This procedure is usually performed using standard pain killing tablets as a daycase, without the need for a general anaesthetic.

In Oxford we are undertaking research into how to improve lithotripsy treatment.

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