BSIP, BOUCHARLAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, BOUCHARLAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lithotripsy. Patient undergoing treatment for bladder or kidney stones. Lithotripsy (also known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy) is a non-invasive ultrasound technique used to disintegrate stones in the urinary tract or gall bladder. Ultrasound waves are focused onto the stones in a series of pulses. The stones are broken down into small fragments, and they pass out of the body naturally. The lithotripter machine comprises an X-ray image intensifier to allow the stones to be located and an electromagnetic coil to generate the shock wave, which is focused by lenses onto the patient through a water cushion or water bath.
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