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Advantages of Shock Wave Lithotripsy (SWL)

SWL offers many advantages over stone removal through surgery. With SWL, there is an extreme reduction in complications and pain. The trauma, inconvenience, and pain of a surgical incision are avoided. Post-treatment complications are minimized and recuperation time after treatment is greatly reduced. Recuperation with SWL usually takes only a few days compared to the average of 3-6 weeks following surgery.

Over 90% of patients with kidney stones are excellent candidates for SWL treatment. After careful evaluation by an urologist, even a patient with multiple or larger stones located anywhere in the urinary tract may be considered for SWL treatment.

Expense is also reduced with SWL. A patient with multiple or larger stones may require more than one treatment. This not only increases risks and complications, but could develop into a major in-hospital expense. The entire cost for out-patient SWL is substantially less than the cost of removing the stone(s) surgically. SWL has also been approved by Medicare and most health insurance companies.