Which Kidney Stone Treatment Method is Right for Me? – Part 2

Although endourological (URS) stone therapy usually involves general anesthesia and a hospital stay and can therefore be associated with certain risks for the patient, more and more urologists are showing a preference for this method. One reason frequently given for this is that they enable the stone to be removed completely and immediately with just one operation. The need for secondary treatment is often cited as a disadvantage of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. As already mentioned, however, ESWL yields high success rates (up to >90% in well-selected patients/stones), in many cases with only one round of treatment needed. This non-invasive treatment method also offers some important advantages: shock wave treatment does not harbor the risks posed by invasive methods with regard to anesthesia, infection, surgery and hospitalization, and is often carried out on an outpatient basis. If secondary treatment is required, ESWL therapy is usually, in the same respects, less stressful for patients than the invasive URS and PCNL procedures described. [14, 15]

Your urologist will take various parameters into account when deciding on the right treatment for your kidney or urinary stone. In addition to the location and size of the stone, these may include the stone’s chemical composition, any pre-existing conditions and the anatomical characteristics of your body.

Non-invasive treatment such as ESWL has clear advantages. Your doctor will certainly be happy to arrange a consultation with you to explain whether lithotripsy is a viable option in your case and to tell you about possible side effects and complications, such as renal colic or haematoma.

Before the first lithotripsy (kidney stone disintegration) procedure was carried out on humans in 1980, patients had no choice but to undergo open surgery. Nowadays, more than 500,000 patients worldwide are treated using ESWL each year. This treatment offers a simple way of breaking up suitable stones. Dornier MedTech, the inventor of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), boasts 30 years of experience in this area and hundreds of its ESWL devices are in use around the world.

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