Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, known for short as ESWL, is a procedure that uses shock waves to effectively break kidney stones into much smaller pieces. The pieces must be small enough to travel through, get excreted in the urinary tract and finally passed out of the body through the urine. It uses x-ray and ultrasound technology to locate the stones accurately, before the body is subjected to high-energy sound waves. The process is usually performed outpatient, and is minimally invasive. The entire procedure is done under local anesthesia and takes only about an hour to complete.
Despite being a relatively simple procedure, modern techniques such as ESWL are quite expensive in the US and Europe, with prices reaching a few thousand dollars. Those who wish to save on costs for ESWL and other kidney treatment procedures can opt to have their procedures done in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea. Medical procedures performed in these countries have grown in popularity in the previous decade as they offer high-quality, personalized, prompt patient care at only a fraction of the cost. With similar facilities and equally adept doctors, patients enjoy over 70% of savings even with all travel costs considered.