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Kidney Stones Lithotripsy And What To Expect

· Health,tips

Your body gives these signs when your kidneys are in danger.

Changing of Your Urinary Function

Difficulty or Pain While Urinating

Blood in the Urine  

Foamy Urine

Swelling or Oedema

Extreme Fatigue

Dizziness and Inability to Concentrate

Feeling Constantly Cold

Skin Rashes and Itching

Ammonia Breath and Metallic

Nausea and Vomiting

Shortness of Breath

For those who have suffered, are suffering or know someone suffering from kidney Stones knows that it is a condition that ends up painful. What makes it even more dangerous is that it gets diagnosed at very late stages for most people. Not many individuals are educated enough to know that the symptoms of kidney disease are not silent, but are redundant enough to not care.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the symptoms may not even become present until the condition is critical. So this makes knowing and recognizing the symptoms that much more crucial.

Lithotripsy Treatment

It may sound harsh- but many people are choosing to blast or obliterate their kidney stones rather than undergo surgery. Using a tried and true method of directing shock waves.

"The shock wave treatment is called ESWL. A long name- extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy - we usually just call it lithotripsy," says Dr. James Borden, urologist on Lee Memorial Health System's medical staff.

It is shocking, but patients aren't exposed to electricity. It's a machine-generated energy wave that passes through the skin without hurting it.

"We focus the energy to a very concentrated point. We know where that point is. We put the patient in position on an x-ray table over where that high energy is. And that energy travels from the outside, it doesn't hurt your skin, it travels to that point where the stone is and it breaks the stone into smaller crystals that can then pass," says Dr. Borden.

Lithotripsy is an outpatient procedure, performed under anesthesia. Relatively painless, the recovery time is minimal. Making it a popular choice among people who have frequent, recurring kidney stones and those who are taking time off from work to get treatment.

"If someone has a very large stone that will not be the treatment. In those situations, we'll actually make a small incision in the skin and go into the kidney and put a small tube into it about the diameter of my finger and through that tube, we'll work inside that kidney and remove very large stones," says Dr. Borden.

Under the right conditions, lithotripsy is helping patients get quick relief from a painful condition.

What to expect:
  • Rest as much as you need to after you go home.
  • You may do your regular activities. But avoid hard exercise or sports for about a week or until there is no blood in your urine.
  • You can eat your normal diet after lithotripsy.
  • Continue to drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the number of fluids you drink.
  • Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if and when to start taking those medicines again. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • If you take medicine to stop the burning when you urinate, take it exactly as recommended. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. This medicine may color your urine orange or red. This is normal. You will get more details on the specific medicine your doctor recommends.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) or similar medicines unless your doctor tells you to.
    • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Take a warm bath. This may soothe the burning.
Other instructions
  • Urinate through the strainer the doctor gives you. Save any stone pieces, including those that look like sand or gravel. Take these to your doctor. This will help your doctor find the cause of your stones.
What Can I Expect After Kidney Stone Surgery?
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