Lithotripsy (Kidney Stone)

Kidney Stone Treatment at Penn Highlands Healthcare

Lithotripsy is a noninvasive procedure that uses shock waves to break kidney stones into tiny pieces, which are later passed through the ureter. Using a device called a lithotripter, technicians send safe, high-energy waves through the body to crush kidney stones. Once the stones are broken into little pieces, they can be removed without an incision. The lithotripter is a mobile system, but it is commonly used in the operating room for patient convenience and safety. The procedure can be performed in about an hour. The main advantage of this treatment is that many patients may be treated for kidney stones without surgery, with reduced cost of treatment, shorter recovery time and without a lengthy hospital stay.

About 70 to 90 percent of patients are free of stones within three months of treatment. The highest success rates tend to be in patients with mobile stones that are located in the upper portions of the urinary tract (kidney and upper ureter). After treatment, some patients may still have stone fragments that are too large to be passed. These can be treated again if symptoms persist.

Lithotripsy removes kidney stones that are:

  • Too Large To Pass On Their Own
  • Causing Bleeding
  • Causing Chronic Pain
  • Causing Urinary Tract Infections
  • Doing Damage To Kidney Tissue

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