The Physics of Shock Wave Lithotripsy

Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) was introduced in the 1980s for the treatment of urinary stones and earned near-instantaneous acceptance as a first line treatment option.1 Since then SWL has revolutionized treatment in nephrolithiasis worldwide, and in the United States, it has been estimated that approximately 70% of kidney stones are treated using SWL.

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