Which Kidney Stone Treatment Method is Right for Me?

Kidney stones are treated using either extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) or a surgical procedure such as URS or PCNL. The relevant medical associations (e.g. the German Society of Urology or the European Association of Urology) make recommendations on how to choose the best treatment method. These medical association recommendations are made available to urologists in the form of guidelines. They are based on the latest scientific knowledge obtained from medical studies. As of October 2017, the guidelines issued by the European Association of Urology (EAU)[1] on treating kidney and urinary stones are as follows:

The key factors are the location and size of the stone (first box), which are estimated first of all through diagnostic investigation.  The second box shows the recommended treatment methods, which are listed either in order of preference (1 and 2) or as equal options. If, for example, you have an 8 mm stone in the proximal ureter (in a section of the ureter close to the bladder), the EAU recommends treatment with ESWL or URS.

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