Current Urology Reports

, 18:25 | Cite as

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy: Current Perspectives and Future Directions

  • Andrew C. Lawler
  • Eric M. Ghiraldi
  • Carmen Tong
  • Justin I. FriedlanderEmail author
Endourology (P Mucksavage, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Endourology


Purpose of Review

Since its introduction, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) has undergone a variety of changes; however, it remains one of the most utilized treatment modalities for urolithiasis. The goal of this review is to provide the practicing urologist an update on contemporary trends, new technologies, and related controversies in utilizing ESWL for stone treatment.

Recent Findings

ESWL use has come under scrutiny with a shift in focus to cost-effectiveness and healthcare outcomes. Fortunately, advances in lithotripter technology have spawned several generations of devices that strive to improve stone-free rates and decrease complications. Most of all, a focus on patient selection criteria has helped improve procedural success.


Years of experience utilizing ESWL for stone treatment have helped urologists better optimize its use and minimize complications. Improvements in technique along with more stringent patient and stone selection have helped ESWL remain a mainstay in the treatment of stone disease.


ESWL Urinary tract stones Urolithiasis Lithotripter Ureteroscopy Percutaneous nephrolithotomy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Andrew C. Lawler, Eric M. Ghiraldi, and Carmen Tong each declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Justin I. Friedlander is a consultant for Retrophin.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Lawler
    • 1
  • Eric M. Ghiraldi
    • 2
  • Carmen Tong
    • 2
  • Justin I. Friedlander
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Philadelphia College of Osteopathic MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of UrologyEinstein Healthcare NetworkPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Urologic Oncology and UrologyFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Einstein Healthcare Network, Temple Health and the Fox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA

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