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The Kidney Stone WebSite by Roger Baxter
An Educational Resource for Sufferers with Kidney Stones
by Roger Baxter
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Kidney Stone Treatment Options -
Lithotripsy

The kidney stone machine fragments kidney stones by use of extracorporeal shock wave lithrotripsy (ESWL). This roughly one to three hour long process is known as lithrotripsy - which means stone crushing. It uses high energy shock waves which are focused at the exact location of the stone (located by use of x-rays) while the semi-anesthetized sufferer is suspended in a tank of warm water. Newer lithrotriptors have eliminated the tank of water in favor of an enclosed bag of water that is placed in direct contact with the sufferer's body to transfer the shockwaves without the need to actually be immersed into the water.


Photograph courtsey of DiverDave (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

During a treatment up to 3000 lithrotripsy shock waves vibrate the stone so that it shatters into smaller sand-like fragments usually without injury to surrounding tissue. Pressure is felt, but not pain. This process is repeated until the doctors can see on the x-rays that the stone has been crushed by the shock waves. (DIAGRAM of a Lithotriptor ) The resulting stone fragments (some not so small and most in jagged shapes) then pass out of the body over a period of time that may be as long as three months or more. Passing these fragments are similar to passing small stones; and more than one sufferer has stated that next time they will opt for some type of physical stone removal to avoid the prolonged painful period of these fragments being passed.

The most common type of stones, calcuim oxalate, is the most difficult type to break up with shockwave lithrotripsy due to its extreme hardness. While some larger or complicated cases may require more than one treatment, lithotripsy usually allows the sufferer to return to their normal life (with the aid of medications to reduce the pain and nausea caused by passing the fragments) in just a few days.

But is it Necessary?

A number of people who regularly suffer from chronic kidney stones are reporting being able to cancel their lithotripsy following a course of high dosing of lab grade chanca piedra.

©1997-2016 Roger Baxter

Latest update June 19, 2017