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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Last RevisedMay 2, 2013

Last Revised: May 2, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

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

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use . How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.