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Successful Outpatient Treatment of Gallstones with Piezoelectric Lithotripsy

Michael B. Albert, MD; Hans Fromm, MD; Rosemarie Borstelmann, CRNP; Colleen M. Shehan, RN; and Richard Gicking, PA
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Requests for Reprints: Michael B. Albert, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, #5-404, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20037.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Albert and Fromm, Ms. Borstelmann and Shehan, and Mr. Gicking: Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, #5-404, The George Washington Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20037.

© 1990 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(2):164-166. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-113-2-164
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The application of extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy to the treatment of gallstones has followed its promising results in the treatment of urinary calculi (1, 2). First-generation spark-gap lithotriptors required hospitalization of patients and use of anesthesia or analgesia (3). Improved lithotripsy technology has recently permitted virtually pain-free treatments in the outpatient setting (4). We report the first U.S. experience with piezoelectric lithotripsy in the treatment of gallstones in outpatients without anesthesia, analgesia, or sedation.

Methods: During a 21-month period, we recruited 60 symptomatic patients with gallstones (38 women, 22 men). Their mean age was 48 years (range, 27 to 70 years)


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