Home Tips Lithotripsy Procedure: What’s It and When is It Performed?

Lithotripsy Procedure: What’s It and When is It Performed?

Lithotripsy Procedure: What’s It and When is It Performed?

Lithotripsy is a procedure that helps to fragment kidney stones to expel them with urine. In this text, we’ll explain the way it’s done and what it’s used for.

Doctors use the lithotripsy procedure very continuously. It’s one among the therapeutic options for kidney stones (also called lithos). These are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form contained in the kidneys.

The issue is that when these stones move through the urinary tract and distend it, they cause plenty of pain. They’re also related to obstruction of the urinary tract. Lithotripsy is meant to fragment these stones.

The thought is that the patient can expel them more easily. There are alternative ways of performing the technique and certain vital elements to take note of before using it. Due to this fact, in this text, we’ll explain every thing you need to find out about this procedure.

How does the lithotripsy procedure work?

Lithotripsy, as we identified within the introduction, is a medical procedure used to treat kidney stones. As an article from the Serrate & Ribal Urology Institute explains, the word comes from Greek and Latin. Lithos means ‘stone’ and terere means ‘to crush’.

Kidney stones are a condition with high prevalence in the final population. Because of this, the lithotripsy procedure has turn out to be a really useful and widely used technique. It consists of fragmenting the stones within the kidney or along the urinary tract to make it easier to expel them with urine.

For this purpose, shock waves or a laser are used extracorporeally and non-invasively. The device used is known as a lithotripter within the case of shock waves. The procedure is painless and doesn’t require manipulation of the patient.

A lot in order that it’s often performed on an outpatient basis and without anesthesia. Other complementary tests, comparable to ultrasound and X-ray, are used to locate the precise position of the stones.

The pain of renal lithiasis is intense, colicky, and radiating from the back to the lower abdomen.

The kinds of lithotripsy

There are different modalities of lithotripsy. The 2 primary types are extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) and laser lithotripsy (FURSL).

Each techniques help to fragment stones throughout the renal pathway. Nevertheless, it’s vital to be conversant in them to know which one is more indicated depending on the patient’s health conditions. The number and sort of stones present even have an influence.

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, because the name implies, uses shock waves to interrupt up the stones. The machine is a lithotripter. It’s answerable for directing waves to the purpose where the stones are positioned.

What is helpful is that these waves only affect the stones. In other words, they don’t damage the skin, muscles, or another tissue. The procedure takes roughly one hour to perform.

Laser lithotripsy

Laser lithotripsy involves inserting a small flexible tube, called an endoscope, through the urinary tract. The endoscope has a camera on the top that lets the doctors see the inside the ducts.

After they locate the stone, they use a laser directly on the stone to interrupt it into fragments. This system is shorter than extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, lasting half an hour.

Nevertheless, the actual fact of getting to introduce the instruments may generate more discomfort or discomfort within the patient. As within the previous procedure, the patient can go home on the identical day of the procedure.

How effective is lithotripsy?

Lithotripsy is a widely used technique since it’s considered secure and effective. In response to a study published within the Oman Medical Journal, the success rate is around 88% of cases within the ureter. In kidney stones, the share is somewhat lower, but in addition very high (74 %).

As well as, only a few have complications, comparable to urinary tract infections. One other article from the National Kidney Foundation states that 70-90% of people that undergo lithotripsy are stone-free within the months that follow.

Nevertheless, it’s possible that on some occasions the fragments should be too large to pass. Under these circumstances, the doctor can have to repeat the procedure if needed.

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Preparation for the procedure

Before doctors perform a lithotripsy, they should know the patient’s history, treatments, and background. As well as, they sometimes perform a series of complementary tests. The thought is to attempt to locate the stones and know their dimensions before fragmenting them.

For this purpose, doctors can perform an intravenous pyelogram. It is a test just like an X-ray that uses a dye to locate the stones. They can also prescribe ultrasound scans.

In the times before lithotripsy, the patient can have to stop taking certain drugs. Particularly, anticoagulant drugs, as they increase the danger of bleeding when expelling the stones.

General anesthesia isn’t all the time needed. In truth, there are a lot of occasions when doctors perform this procedure under local or regional anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Nevertheless, some patients remain hospitalized to observe the potential for complications.

What’s the lithotripsy procedure like?

The 2 kinds of lithotripsy are similar but have vital differences. In each of them, the patient is normally lying down, with or without anesthesia. The procedure itself isn’t painful, however the expulsion of the fragments is.

A few of the fragments may cause a blockage within the urinary tract. In these cases, it’s needed to perform an endoscopy through the ureter to remove it. As well as, it’s price mentioning that, although less frequent, bleeding, fever, and even infection may occur.

The massive difference to be mindful is that in laser lithotripsy it’ll be needed to introduce an endoscope through the patient’s urinary tract. This could be more uncomfortable and unsightly.

Endoscopies are barely more uncomfortable than shock wave techniques, as they involve the introduction of an object into the body.

Recovery after the lithotripsy procedure

After the procedure, the patient often has to rest within the hospital for not less than one hour. This time could also be prolonged if anesthesia has been used. It’s needed to examine that the person is stable and that there aren’t any complications.

In the next days, if the doctors have used extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, the patient can return to work. When performed by laser, recovery is slower. It’s because the procedure with the endoscope is invasive.

As mentioned above, pain or blood within the urine is prone to occur after the procedure. Hematomas are also frequent within the skin, in the world where the shock waves have had an impact. It’s due to this fact advisable to rest, take painkillers and seek the advice of within the event of any problem or warning sign.

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Lifestyle and prevention

The reality is that kidney stones could be brought on by multiple aspects. Certain aspects influence their occurrence. The incidence may be very high.

One in every of the habits that may also help to scale back their appearance is to drink more liquids. Likewise, individuals who continuously suffer from them should try to alter their dietary characteristics.

For instance, doctors advisable we eat less animal protein and limit sodium. In any case, it’s as much as the physician to make a suggestion based on each patient and the causes of the stones.

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