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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

What is it?

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is the least invasive surgical stone treatment using high frequency sound waves from an external source (outside the body) to break up kidney stones into smaller pieces, and allow them to pass out through the urinary tract.

What are the main advantages of this approach?

  • Least invasive option available
  • Safe

What preparation is required?

As ESWL is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to treatment. Regular medications can be taken with a sip of water with the exception of blood thinning agents (eg. warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories which need to be stopped for 7-10 days. A mid stream urine (MSU) test is required to ensure the urine is sterile before any treatment is undertaken.