Electrohydraulic Lithotripsy (EHL)


If stones develop in the pancreatic or bile duct, passing them can be very painful. These stones can sometimes be broken up with high-energy shock waves in a procedure called electrohydraulic lithotripsy (EHL). EHL is often done in conjunction with a Spyglass procedure to break up large stones in the pancreatic or bile ducts endoscopically instead of performing surgery.

 What to Expect

You'll fast for a number of hours beforehand, and your doctor may tell you to stop taking certain medications. You’ll be put under anesthesia, and an endoscope will be inserted into your GI tract, near the stone. The probe delivers an electric current that creates shock waves, which break up the stone. The fragmented stone either passes through your duct or is extracted by your doctor during EHL.


The EHL procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and you’ll remain at the clinic or hospital until your anesthesia wears off. You’ll need someone to drive you home. You will be sent home with discharge instructions including diet and activity. You can usually return to normal activities in a day or two.

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