Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (E.S.W.L)

Extracorporeal shock wave Lithotripsy (E.S.W.L)

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.

ESWL may be used on a person who has a kidney stone that is causing pain or blocking the urine flow. Stones that are between 4mm (0.16 in) and 2mm (0.8in) in diameter are most likely to be treated with ESWL.

ESWL works for most people who have small kidney stones – either in the kidney or in the ureter.