Kidney Stone Removal (Lithotripsy)

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Procedure Description

Kidney Stone Removal, also known as Lithotripsy, is a medical procedure designed to break apart kidney stones that are causing discomfort, pain, or obstructing urinary flow. Kidney stones are hard, mineral-based formations that develop within the kidneys. While smaller stones might pass naturally through the urinary tract, larger stones often require medical intervention. There are different types of lithotripsy procedures: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL), Laser Lithotripsy, and Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL), among others. The appropriate procedure depends on the size, location, and composition of the kidney stone.

When it comes to why someone would need this procedure, the symptoms of kidney stones can range from moderate to severe. Common symptoms include sharp pain in the lower back or abdomen, blood in the urine, or recurrent urinary tract infections. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and diagnostic tests confirm the presence of kidney stones, lithotripsy may be recommended. The goal is to break the stones into smaller, passable fragments or to remove them entirely to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications such as urinary tract infections or kidney damage.

Early intervention can be crucial. Leaving kidney stones untreated may lead to more severe issues like recurrent urinary tract infections, obstruction of the urinary tract, and in extreme cases, renal failure. The severity of the condition, as well as a person's overall health, are factors that doctors consider before recommending lithotripsy.

Procedure Duration

The duration of a lithotripsy procedure can vary depending on the type of lithotripsy being performed and the complexity of the case. Generally, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Laser lithotripsy and Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) can take longer, often around 2 to 3 hours. It's essential to consult with healthcare providers for a more accurate assessment tailored to your condition.

Recovery times also vary. For ESWL, patients usually go home the same day and can return to their normal activities within a week. For more invasive forms of lithotripsy like Laser Lithotripsy and PCNL, hospital stays of one to three days may be required, with a recovery period of up to two weeks. During this time, patients are advised to rest and may be prescribed medication to manage pain or prevent infection.

It's crucial to remember that breaking the kidney stones is just one part of the treatment. The fragmented stones still have to pass through the urinary system, which may take a few days to several weeks. Drinking plenty of fluids and following the doctor's advice is crucial during the recovery phase.


  • Cost-Effectiveness: Medical tourism can offer significant cost savings for lithotripsy procedures without compromising on quality.
  • Advanced Technology: Many countries popular for medical tourism have state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment for kidney stone treatment.
  • Expertise: Highly trained specialists with international credentials often perform these procedures.

Potential Destinations

  • India: Known for its highly skilled urologists and cutting-edge technology.
  • Thailand: Bangkok and other major cities have well-established healthcare systems specializing in urological issues.
  • Turkey: Offers cost-effective treatment options with advanced technology.

Risks & Considerations

  • Travel Duration: Long flights may not be advisable post-surgery, and you may need to plan an extended stay.
  • Language Barriers: Ensure that the healthcare providers speak a language you're comfortable with.
  • Legal Concerns: Understand the medical malpractice laws of the country you're considering for treatment.

How to Choose the Right Doctor and Hospital

  • Accreditations: Look for hospitals that are internationally accredited.
  • Doctor’s Credentials: Research the surgeon’s educational background, experience, and specialization.
  • Patient Reviews: Consider testimonials or reviews from previous patients who have undergone the same procedure.

To receive a free quote for this procedure please click on the link:

Patients are advised to seek hospitals that are accredited by Global Healthcare and only work with medical tourism facilitators who are certified by Global Healthcare Accreditation or who have undergone certification from the Certified Medical Travel Professionals (CMTP). This ensures that the highest standards in the industry are met. GHA accredits the top hospitals in the world. These are the best hospitals in the world for quality and providing the best patient experience. Click the link to check out hospitals accredited by the Global Healthcare Accreditation:

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually happens during hyperstimulation of the ovaries?

The patient will take injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) for eight to eleven days, depending on how long the follicles take to mature. This hormone is produced naturally in a woman’s body causing one egg to develop per cycle. Taking the injectable FSH causes several follicles to develop at once, at approximately the same rate. The development is monitored with vaginal ultrasounds and following the patient’s levels of estradiol and progesterone. FSH brand names include Repronex, Follistim, Menopur, Gonal-F and Bravelle. The patient injects herself daily.

What happens during egg retrieval?

When the follicles have developed enough to be harvested, the patient attends an appointment  where she is anesthetized and prepared for the procedure. Next, the doctor uses an ultrasound probe to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. The thin needle draws the follicle fluid, which is then examined by an embryologist to find the eggs. The whole process takes about 20 minutes.

What happens to the eggs?

In the next step, the harvested eggs are then fertilized. If the sperm from the potential father, or in some cases, anonymous donor, has normal functionality, the eggs and sperm are placed together in a dish with a nutrient fluid, then incubated overnight to fertilize normally. If the sperm functionality is suboptimal, an embryologist uses Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection to inject a single sperm into a single egg with an extremely precise glass needle.  Once fertilization is complete, the embryos are assessed and prepared to be transferred to the patient’s uterus.

How are the embryos transferred back to the uterus?

The doctor and the patient will discuss the number of embryos to be transferred. The number of successfully fertilized eggs usually determines the number of eggs to be placed in the uterus. Embryos are transferred to the uterus with transabdominal ultrasound guidance. This process does not require anesthesia, but it can cause minor cervical or uterine discomfort. Following transfer, the patient is advised to take at least one days bed rest and two or three additional days of rest, then 10 to 12 days later, two pregnancy tests are scheduled to confirm success. Once two positive tests are completed, an obstetrical ultrasound is ordered to show the sac, fetal pole, yolk sac and fetal heart rate.


Built into this technology there is a microscope with a powerful camera that allows the uninterrupted monitoring of the embryo during its first hours of life. In this way, we can keep a close eye on the embryo, from the moment when the oocyte is inseminated and begins to divide into smaller and smaller cells, until it can be transferred to the uterus.

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