One cannot help but marvel at the wondrous progress of medical science. An integrated approach that involved unification of related aspects from different disciplines has resulted in the discovery of medical processes and phenomena. Our favourite are the minimally invasive procedures! Want to know something even better? Non-invasive procedures such as lithotripsy! What is that you are telling us about not knowing a thing about lithotripsy? Oh, well. That is OK, we are going to talk about the process as well as its types in detail in this discussion. We talk about the types of lithotripsy and indications as well as the pain factor associated with it. All we ask in return? Your undivided attention!
Who needs lithotripsy? Better still, why do you need lithotripsy? This is a procedure designed to alleviate the miseries of those who are suffering from small kidney stones. There might come a time when the stone may assume a form and a size that is simply not small enough to pass through a person’s urinary tract. Reasons for stone formation can be numerous but they are mostly calcium oxalate in nature. When such a stone blocks the urinary route, one is likely to feel pain as well as difficulty in urination. In a worst-case scenario, an infection can develop as well. These reasons necessitate the need for lithotripsy, a process that can help patients suffering from stones get rid of their misery.
Lithotripsy procedure: an overview
Like we said earlier, this is a non-invasive procedure. No surgical cuts or incisions need to be made to remove kidney stones from your body. The lithotripsy machine is used to direct shockwaves at the body of the patient. The beam is target-oriented and has enough energy to crush the stones into passable pieces. You must be wondering how the doctor can be certain about the position of stones. Well, an X-ray monitor is constantly showing the position of stones inside a patient’s body. It is evident that lithotripsy is one of the easiest ways of removing kidney stones, don’t you agree?
Types of lithotripsy
At this point in the discussion, it is prudent to mention the different types of lithotripsy, for a clearer picture. So, there are five different types of lithotripsy. For the sake of keeping things simple, we have decided to discuss these types briefly and separately:
1- Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy-ESWL
Shockwaves are focused on the outside on the stones inside the patient’s body.
2- Shockwave lithotripsy
Pretty much the same thing as the ESWL, apart from a few variations in the protocols.
3- Endoscopic lithotripsy
By this, we mean the visualization of calculus in the urinary tract, while applying energy to break the stone at the same time.
4- Percutaneous lithotripsy
This process involves incision creation at the back to remove kidney stones that the patient can’t pass.
5- Laser lithotripsy
The ureteric laser lithotripsy involves the application of general anesthesia for the removal of kidney stones.
Lithotripsy side effects
Its non-invasiveness doesn’t make it a risk-free business, some serious side effects are reported with the shockwave and laser lithotripsies. The most commonly reported side effect is bleeding around the kidney, which can be because of excessive energy being directed at the organ in an uncontrolled manner. Then, there is a chance of infection as well but the most troubling thing for us would have to be that piece of stone which can’t be passed out, can’t be broken any further, and makes urination tougher than normal.
Is lithotripsy painful?
You must have searched for an answer to this question if you are planning to undergo lithotripsy soon. If the process gives you jitters, please note that you will be under anesthesia of some sort, whether local or general. So, while the waves hit you, we don’t think you will find anything painful. Once the session is completed, stone debris is removed from the kidney or the ureter. Since it is pretty much the stones that you are passing out, things can get a bit rough. Not mincing the words, there will be blood and some sort of abdominal pain!
Several factors determine the final cost of the procedure, such as the quality of the lithotripsy machine used, type of lithotripsy, institute charges, etc. But we can tell you this much that it is no cheap business, the average bill can be pretty much anywhere between $5000-$10,000. And in some cases, depending upon the number of sessions, it can be even more than that! If you ever catch the giving bug, how about you help someone afford the process? There are many from the underprivileged section of the society, who are looking towards you at the Transparent Hands!
Fund lithotripsy at Transparent Hands
When it comes to crowdfunding for health, there is no platform bigger than Transparent Hands in Pakistan. The range of healthcare services offered by Transparent Hands is astoundingly vast. From medical and surgical treatments to medical camps and telehealth facilities, the NGO makes sure that the underprivileged Pakistanis have access to quality healthcare services. The NGO believes in creating a patient-donor bond while making sure that the protocols of transparency aren’t breached at any point. The NGO realizes the need for free medical camps in the rural areas, hence it actively sets up such camps as well. To donate, donors can log in to the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal from anywhere in the world. Payment modes are one hundred percent secure. Every donor has absolute freedom in selecting and funding patients of their choice. The NGO makes sure that regular updates until complete recovery are sent to the concerned donor.
Time to wrap up things but we do hope that you learned something new from this discussion. A marvel of modern science, lithotripsy has made life normal for many who were victims of discomfort and pain. More power to the biomedical sciences! There are many other non-invasive procedures that we would love to talk about someday but for now, it is bye-bye!