Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Your kidneys are two organs that filter your blood to make urine.
Urine flows from your kidneys through the rest of your urinary tract until it is passed out of your body.
Kidney stones can form inside your kidney from substances in your urine.
Most are small enough to pass out of your body through your urinary tract.
But, some kidney stones get stuck when they are too large to pass.
The stone can block your urine from flowing and cause a lot of pain.
Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a way to treat kidney stones without having surgery that cuts into your skin.
To begin, the exact location of the stone will be found using an x-ray or ultrasound device.
Then, the machine will aim shock waves at the kidney stone.
Shock waves are high-energy sound waves that will break up the stone into tiny pieces.
After the procedure, these small pieces should pass out of your body when you go to the bathroom. This should not cause you much discomfort.
If you have any questions about extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, talk to your healthcare provider.