Urolithiasis is a condition which results
in complete or partial, acute or chronic, continuous or intermittent
blockage of the urinary tract due to abnormal collection of
mineral salts (often calcium).
Urinary calculi have plagued men for centuries
(men develop stones twice as often as women) and affect some
individuals according to predisposing inherited biochemical
or anatomic factors and environmental influence.
Roughly 2% to 3% of the world
population suffers from kidney or urethral stones during their
The consequences of urinary calculi are responsible
for 10% of urological hospital admissions worldwide. Although
urinary calculi may be eliminated naturally by the body, natural
elimination is frequently accompanied by considerable pain
and very often by serious complications, such as obstruction
and infection of the urinary tract.
Urinary stones may consist of several different
The most frequently found are:
Urinary stones may be located in different
places inside the urinary tract in the renal cavities
(the calyces and the pelvis), in the ureter, in the
bladder or the urethra.
The stones form most frequently in one
of the kidneys, from where, following the flow of urine,
they tend to migrate along the ureter towards the bladder.
From the bladder they move along the urethra towards
Urolithiasis may also occurs with various
inherited and metabolic disorders and following urinary
When not treated, urinary obstruction can
become very serious and in addition to its negative impact
on quality of life, can lead to a dilation of the urinary
tract and eventual loss of functioning renal tissue.
Prevention of Urolithiasis
The primary way to try to prevent kidney stones
is to drink plenty of fluids, ideally water. This high volume
of fluid moving through the urinary tract keep small crystals
moving through the kidneys and decrease the likelihood for
a stone to develop.
Only your doctor is qualified to help you
determine if this type of device is the appropriate alternative
for treatment of your stone disease. Ask about SWL and our non-invasive
technologies, and explore our web site for more information.
SWL For a majority of cases,
surgical manipulation is not necessary, but exact identification
of stone and rigorous patient selection is important
for an accurate treatment of the disease.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is a non-invasive
technique for disintegration of urinary calculi. Since
its introduction in clinical practice nearly 20 years
ago, SWL has become the standard treatment for urinary
calculi. This solution reduces stones to fragments using
shock waves and is the most common way to treat stones
that will not pass on their own. As a non-surgical procedure
this technique, requiring little analgesia without hospital
stay, is an ideal treatment alternative for patients
suffering from urolithiasis.
A leader in minimally invasive therapies for over 100
million patients worldwide who suffer from urological
disorders, TMS currently markets and sells two models
of SWL lithotripters, the Sonolith Praktis and the Sonolith
Vision, which use Electroconductive Technology.
Surgery Once active urolithiasis
is diagnosed, different forms of therapies are possible
between expectant treatment and more aggressive forms
of therapies such as transurethral ureteroscopy, percutaneous
nephrolithotripsy or open surgical procedures. Transurethral
ureteroscopy: fiber like a small telescope is passed
through the urethra and bladder up to the stone and
a probe can be used to break up the stone. The procedure
requires anaesthesia but generally no hospital stay.
A laser instrument is passed directly into the kidney
through an incision and a tube placed in the patient's
back. The procedure is usually done for large stones
and the patient is admitted into the hospital for 1
or 2 days.