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My sister is supposed to have lithotripsy procedure this month. I just know this is technique, which uses shock waves to break up stones, which form in our organism. Her doctor said it is commonly used technique for stones in the kidney, bladder, ureters, or gallbladder. However, we are all worried about her, so could you tell us more about this lithotripsy technique?

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It is true what her doctor said how lithotripsy is a technique used to break up stones that form in the kidney, bladder, ureters, or gallbladder. There are several ways of doing this, although the most common is extracorporeal, which means outside the body. The shock waves used in this technique, are focused on the kidney stone and break the stone into tiny pieces. Then it is easily passed out of the body naturally during urination. Throughout this procedure called lithotripsy, the doctor can view what is happening to the stones through X-ray or ultrasound monitoring. Your sister will probably be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 hours prior to the procedure. It is important to report usage of any medicines, so the doctor could check if they are safe to take before the procedure. Lithotripsy procedure generally takes from 45 minutes to 1 hour. While most kidney stones are treated with this type of lithotripsy, important is to know not all stones can be treated this way. Sometimes a laser is used to pulverize the stone, but when a laser is used, the doctor must use an endoscope to get close to the stone.
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