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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) Treatment in Dubai

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy is a non-invasive procedure for treating kidney and ureteral stone disease. It uses high-energy shock waves that are passed through the body to break ureteral and kidney stones into smaller fragments. These fragments then easily exit the body while passing urine due to their small size. The focused sound waves or ultrasonic energy used by ESWL are generated by a machine called a lithotripter.

Kidney stones are solid salt and mineral deposits that develop inside a person’s kidney.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Common symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Severe pain that is stabbing in nature
  • Radiating discomfort in the groin and lower abdomen
  • Pain that is intermittent and varies in intensity
  • When urinating, there may be pain or burning

Based on your symptoms and stone characteristics the surgeon might offer ESWL to treat your kidney stones.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy Procedure

Pre-procedure

Before the ESWL procedure is carried out, you will be  given instructions on what to do in order to make the process more seamless. These includes a fasting period, especially if the procedure requires general anesthesia. You will need to fast for six hours prior to the procedure, and only water is allowed two hours prior. You might also need to undergo a series of tests including:

  • Urine and blood tests
  • A physical exam
  • Imaging tests to help the surgeon locate the stones for a definite diagnosis and analysis of the size and type of stones

Additionally, you also need to inform the surgeon about their medical history. If you are taking any form of medication or supplements, as well as if you have any allergies.

During the procedure

The surgeon follows the following steps during the ESWL procedure:

  • For your comfort, the patient will be given a sedative or a light anesthetic
  • The surgeon locates the stones by using a computerized X-ray system, fluoroscopy, or ultrasound.
  • By using the lithotripter, the surgeon administers a series of shock waves directly on the stones breaking them into smaller fragments enough to pass through the urinary tract. During the procedure, the stones will be observed using ultrasound or fluoroscopy.

After the  procedure

After the procedure, you will be discharged to go home after recovery from anesthetics. you are encouraged to drink more water to dilute the urine and reduce the discomfort of passing the stone fragments. You might notice traces of blood in the urine for a few days.

When the fragments are passing, pain may be experienced, which starts soon after treatment and could last for up to four to eight weeks. Taking oral painkillers and drinking a lot of water will help relieve symptoms.

Most individuals can fully resume daily activities within one to two days after the procedure.

Possible Complications of ESWL

Just like any other surgical procedure, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy may present some complications, although rare. These include:

  • Blood in the urine for a few days
  • Discomfort caused by shattered stone fragments as they move out through the urinary tract
  • In some cases, the stone is not entirely broken, and additional treatments may be needed

Benefits of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy

The benefits of ESWL, as compared to other methods of kidney stones treatment include:

  • The procedure is non-surgical
  • Has minimal complications
  • Faster recovery time
  • Reduced hospital stays
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