Skip to Content

Lithotripsy for Gallstones

Topic Overview

Lithotripsy, which is also called extracorporeal shock wave treatment, uses shock waves focused by ultrasound to break up gallstones. Lithotripsy may be used alone or along with bile acids to break up stones.

The procedure, which is now rarely performed, has been used for people who have long-term (chronic) inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis) and who are not strong enough for surgery. But it is not appropriate in treating sudden (acute) cholecystitis.

Lithotripsy is most effective for people who have no complications from gallbladder disease and who have one stone that is 1 in. (20 mm) or smaller.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised July 10, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Classes & Events

  • Sep
    22
    Monday
    5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
    This class will focus on the health benefits of fresh juice and smoothies.
  • Sep
    22
    Monday
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a powerful program that teaches how to live directly with your moment-by-moment life experiences in affirming way.
  • Sep
    22
    Monday
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    In this orientation, you will learn about the history, science, risks and benefits of attending to your life, moment-by-moment. You'll experience a sample MBSR class, including experiential practice and class exploration about this life-affirming approach.

Section Links