To the Editor.—I am writing about the article by Brown et al1 in the January 1988 issue of the Archives. The statement that "extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy has become an important mode of therapy for renal lithiasis in patients who cannot withstand surgery" is unusual. The inference is that extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is only for people who cannot withstand surgery. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy has proved to be the treatment of choice for almost all upper tract stones and, indeed, most ureteral stones. I think that this is a misconception because extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a proven modality.
METZGER CK. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. Arch Surg. 1988;123(7):912. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400310126024