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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

How lithotripsy for kidney stones works

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces. These pieces can more easily move through the urinary tract and pass from the body.

For this procedure you lie on a water-filled cushion. X-rays or ultrasound tests are used to locate the stone. High-energy sound waves pass through your body without injuring it and break the stone into small pieces.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as of May 2, 2013

Current as of: May 2, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology

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