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Search Health Information    Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Picture of how lithotripsy for kidney stones works

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and pass from the body.

You lie on a water-filled cushion. X-rays or ultrasound tests are used to precisely locate the stone. High-energy sound waves pass through your body without injuring it and break the stone into small pieces.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Last Revised April 28, 2011

Last Revised: April 28, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology

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