Lithotripsy is a medical procedure wherein shock waves are used to break up kidney stones, ureter or bladder. Extra corporeal shock wave lithotripsy is the most commonly used type. The shock wave is termed extra corporeal as the shock wave is generated outside the body. It is a non-invasive technique. This procedure is used when the stone is too large to pass out on its own or if the stone is stuck in the ureter.
Prior to the treatment the following is followed:
- Complete physical examination
- Urine analysis
- Blood test
- IVP: intravenous pyelogram is used to locate the stone and understand the extent of blockage
- ECG for people with history of heart problems
Patient is made to lie down on a comfortable cushion/bed (usually water-filled). A mild sedative, pain killer and antibiotics are administered before the procedure so as to prevent any kind of discomfort, pain or infection. High energy sound waves pass through the body until they hit upon the kidney stone. The machine through which the waves is passed is called as the lithotripter. The kidney stone is broken into several pieces by the wave. The broken stone debris is called gravel. This gravel passes out while urinating. Usually there is no damage to skin or other internal organs as the shock waves are not focused on them. Generally after lithotripsy, people tend to bleed while urinating. This is common and will stop on its own. People who have undergone the procedure should drink plenty of water so as to flush the gravel out. A few patients may report abdominal pain which subsides on its own after a few days. If the symptoms persist, it is suggested that the patient visit the physician.
Lithotripsy should not be performed on people with skeletal deformities, persons with uncontrolled bleeding and pregnant women. Some of the possible side-effects include:
- Kidney infection
- Ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
- Pieces of the stone may block free urine passage.
- Pieces of stone might be left behind in the body.
- Bleeding (internal)
- Very rarely stones do not get completely fragmented during the first time and so the procedure might have to be repeated again.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a condition attributed to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that are found on the human body. While they are mostly harmless, in rare cases they produce a toxin leading to toxic shock syndrome. TSS has usually been linked to the use of tampons, though they can also be caused by bacterial infections of wounds or surgical incisions. Toxic shock syndrome has also been linked to other staph infections such as pneumonia, septicemia and osteomyelitis. TSS has also been noticed in women using a diaphragm or a contraceptive sponge.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include high fever, headache, diarrhea and aching muscles. Other symptoms of TSS include vomiting, rapid drop in blood pressure and unusual redness under the eyelids. A person suffering from toxic shock syndrome is likely to feel dizzy and confused and have difficulty in breathing. Women may notice unusual vaginal discharge that is smelly.
All wounds and cuts must be treated with clean bandages. Women can reduce the risk of TSS by alternating between tampons and sanitary napkins. Ensure that you wash your hands before you touch them. Change tampons regularly and always remove the tampon at the end of the period. Treatment for TSS includes antibiotic medications and drugs to maintain normal blood pressure. If there is an infected site, the area must be drained clean and any foreign bodies must be removed from the body. It is imperative to consult a doctor at once if the patient becomes pale and has a rapid pulse. Toxic shock syndrome can lead to severe multi-organ dysfunction and can be life-threatening.
Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. Possible allergies could be some drug, food or insect bites. The body reacts very soon and results in symptoms such as abdominal cramps, difficulty in breathing, fainting, anxiety and tightening of the airways. Immediate treatment is needed. There is loss of blood pressure and the body is in shock. There might be raised bumps over the body.