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Since 2003, Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy (ESWL) offered at Seamen’s Hospital – Manila has made a big difference in the health and lives of hundreds of AMOSUP members and their dependents. The procedure, which is non-invasive and non-surgical, pulverizes kidney stones into smaller fragments so they can be eliminated and passed out spontaneously during urination.

Done on an outpatient basis, the ESWL treatment only takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes to be completed.  The patient stays in the recovery room for another 30 to 60 minutes before being discharged.  After the procedure, the patient can already resume his diet and is advised to increase oral fluid intake, follow a lox oxalate, low purine diet, and take antibiotics, analgesics and anti-urolithic medications.  A follow-up ultrasound examination is done after a week to check for any residual stone.  If a stone is detected, the patient may undergo a repeat ESWL session; otherwise, he or she is cleared and may return to work.

A great number of seafarers develop kidney stones while on board due to diets high in oxalate and uric acid, decreased fluid intake, exposure to warm environments, and a family history of kidney stones.  Patients with kidney stones are usually asymptomatic until a stone blocks the ureter, making urination painful and causing hematuria (blood in the urine), fever, nausea, and vomiting.

The Seamen’s Hospital – Manila makes it possible for qualified AMOSUP members and their dependents to take advantage of this state-of-the-art, non-invasive and non-surgical procedure as part of its mission to continuously upgrade the level of healthcare services it provides.