Lithotripsy

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1. Overview


Lithotripsy is a procedure used for crushing and grinding kidney stones into very small pieces. Being crushed these can be more easily eliminated through urine.

Kidney stones are small deposits of solid minerals, which accumulate in the urinary tract. Most kidney stones travel through the ureters and the tubes leading from the kidneys to the bladder and then reach into the bladder.

Sometimes these stones stuck in the ureters or bladder and cause painful obstructions. Blockage can lead to infections and serious kidney damage. Anyone with kidney stones that cause obstruction, infection or severe bleeding may need lithotripsy.


Contents

1. Overview
2. What involves the lithotripsy?
3. After the procedure
4. Possible complications after lithotripsy


2. What involves the lithotripsy?

One type of lithotripsy uses a device called lithotripter, the procedure being called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Through this procedure the stones are broken inside kidney or upper ureters.

This procedure uses shock waves that unfold stones into small fragments that are easily excreted in the urine. Preparation for the procedure involves mild sedation of the patient and occasionally general anesthesia. The patient is dropped into a large tub or pool and sunken to his shoulders. Radiography is used to locate the stones so that the body to be positioned properly.

Shock waves are then sent through the water and body. The body has the same acoustic properties as water, so it is not affected by shock waves. Kidney stones are so fragile that comes apart after shock waves. During the procedure the doctor will do more x-rays to check the status of stones. The procedure usually takes about an hour, it does not require any incision, while the hospitalization is not required.

Stones that cannot be crushed by lithotripsy can be decomposed using other procedures. One of these is the percutaneous ultrasonic lithotripsy that involves a small incision in the skin through which the telescopic tube is inserted into the kidney. With a small instrument ultrasounds are transmitted to the stones. Stone fragments are then removed by the same telescopic tube.

Endoscopic lithotripsy is another alternative. Through the bladder and ureter is inserted a small instrument attached to a unit that uses ultrasound to break stones. Electro lithotripsy uses an instrument that is passed through the bladder. It sends electrical charges with which to spar stones in the urethra, these being then removed through urination.


3. After the procedure

Patients will be transported to a recovery area where they will be encouraged to drink plenty of water to remove fragments of calculi in the urinary tract and are encouraged to walk. If the patient was injected, will be looking for signs of infection and bleeding.


4. Possible complications after lithotripsy

When a person is anesthetized, he may have an allergic reaction to it. Complications from incisions may include infection and bleeding. A few days after lithotripsy the patient may notice traces of blood in the urine. Sometimes stones cannot be broken during lithotripsy and may require surgery.

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