Kidney stones rates are increasing every year - in fact, one in 10 people will have a kidney stone in their life, and kidney stones send more than half a million people to emergency rooms every year. Thankfully, you have advanced, non-surgical relief right here at the St. Joseph's Hospital Surgical Services Department. Dr. Jeff Parres uses Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy to crush kidney stones inside your body with directed shock waves - no incisions, and no surgery required! Recovery is quick, the pain is gone, and you're back to life in no time.
Kidney stones are hard, crystal-like masses formed from chemicals in your urine, which has different wastes dissolved in it. The crystals form when too much waste accumulates and there is not enough liquid to wash it away. When that happens, the masses become too large to pass out of the body naturally. They can obstruct the normal urine flow and may cause sudden, severe pain and other symptoms.
The most common treatment for kidney stones in the U.S., lithotripsy directly targets kidney stones with shock waves. As they absorb the energy, kidney stones are pulverized into sand-like particles that you can easily pass through the urinary tract.
You and your doctor will discuss whether light sedation and a local or general anesthesia will be used. The choice depends on the technique, type of stone and your needs. The main advantage of lithotripsy is that it treats kidney stones without an incision, so the need for hospital and recovery time are reduced.
When you arrive in the operating room, you'll be positioned on an operating table with a soft, water-filled cushion placed on your abdomen or behind your kidney. Your body is positioned so the stone can be targeted precisely with the shock waves. The complete treatment takes just 45-60 minutes!
Barring any complications, you'll usually remain in recovery for about an hour before going home. You should drink plenty of liquids and strain your urine through a filter to capture pieces of the kidney stone for testing. You may be required to take antibotics and painkillers during recovery, which typically brief. After lithotripsy, you can get up to walk almost immediately. You may even be able to resume your full daily activites in one or two days. You won't need a special diet, but drinking plenty of water helps the stone fragments pass easily.
Dr. Jeff Parres is a Board-Certified Urologist who has performed hundreds of procedures using Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Parres at the SJH Medical Office Building (12866 Troxler Avenue, Highland), call (618) 651-2750.
In need of transportation for a lithotripsy treatment? Use St. Joseph Highland's free patient transportation service.