Lithotripsy is a procedure through which stones in your body are broken, using laser or shock waves. It can help break kidney stones, gallstones, or the ones present in the ureters. Accumulation of minerals and calcium salt can cause stones in your kidneys. If left untreated, kidney stones can obstruct the urinary tract.
If an obstruction occurs due to kidney stones, the urine can not pass through, resulting in a severely painful and life-threatening condition. To treat kidney stones, your healthcare providers prescribe medications first. But if the size of the stones is large, they will advise you to get lithotripsy done. It is a procedure in which laser or shock waves are used to destroy kidney stones into tiny pieces. Those little pieces can then pass out of your body through urine. If you need to get lithotripsy done, you can visit the laparoscopic surgeon in Lahore.
There are two types of lithotripsy options;
ESWL- extracorporeal shock wave therapy
Laser lithotripsy, also known as flexible ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy (FURSL).
What to Expect?
In the hospital
When you will go to the hospital to get the lithotripsy procedure done, the healthcare providers will pass an intravenous line, most probably on your arm. The intravenous line helps in administrating pain medication and anesthetics. Both procedures may take thirty minutes to two hours.
For extracorporeal shock wave therapy, the doctors will ask you to lie down straight on the table. The lithotripter will be placed in such a position that it targets the stones. To conduct the procedure efficiently, the doctors will place a water-filled cushion between the table and your body. Shock waves are not painful. The stones will break and pass through your urine. To prevent damage from the broken stones to your ureters, the healthcare providers will place a stent.
For flexible ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy (FURSL), the healthcare providers insert a ureteroscope into the urinary bladder and if necessary into the ureter and kidney. Through this, they can see what is inside the urinary tract. If there are any kidney stones, they can break them with a laser. Ureteroscopy is used as a procedure to inspect the urinary tract and fix if there is any problem. The procedure may be slightly painful that can be managed with pain-relieving medications.
You must have some help with you to come back home. Try to have someone with you who can drive you back home from the hospital. Do not go all alone.
When you come back home, you may have blood in your urine for some days. You do not need to worry about it. However, if there is too much bleeding, you should tell your healthcare provider about it.
For some days, pain and nausea may also remain there that may go away in some time. To get rid of nausea, your healthcare provider may prescribe you antiemetic drugs, and for relieving pain, they will prescribe the counter pain reliever.
On your back or where you are treated with shock waves, you may have some bruising too. You may need the counter pain reliever for its treatment.
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After one to two days, you can get back to your normal routine. But make sure that you do rest for at least two days and drink plenty of water. Drinking too much water can ease the process of stone passing out. Sometimes your healthcare provider may prescribe an alpha-receptor blocker drug that makes it easier for the stone to pass through by dilating the vessels. To prevent pain and infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe analgesics and antibiotics even after the procedure.
Your healthcare provider may ask you to strain urine that you pass after the procedure and note if there is any stone in it. They will teach you the technique to do that. Even after you are done with the procedure, you will have to remain in follow-up visits with the healthcare provider. If you have chills and fever after the procedure, you should consult with your healthcare provider soon as it can be a sign of infection.
Lithotripsy generally does not cause any pain. It can help in breaking gallstones, the ones present in the ureters and kidneys. Through lithotripsy, you can prevent surgery that is done under general anesthesia. The broken stones may pass in some days in your urine. You may have blood in your urine for some days after the procedure. Do not worry about it. If you have a fever and chills, you should consult a laparoscopic surgeon in Karachi.