Laser Lithotripsy for Kidney Stones
The presence of kidney stones can be extremely painful. In the past, treatment would mean surgery with, more often than not, an incision being made. However, with the advent of technology, lasers have now been used as a treatment method for getting rid of kidney stones. No incisions have to be made, recovery time is made shorter, and the person no longer feels the discomfort of a kidney stone.
- This procedure is also known as laser lithotripsy.
- Laser lithotripsy was already used in the past but the procedure was limited due to the diameter and flexibility of the cable making it hard to reach certain areas in the urinary tract such as the ureters.
- A small instrument is inserted into the patient’s urethra up to the ureter or area containing the stone.
- Focused laser energy is used to fragment the stone.
- The stone is pulverized or shattered into small pieces that the patient can pass through the urine.
- No incisions are needed for this procedure.
- Laser lithotripsy has a higher success rate compared to traditional lithotripsy methods.
- Laser is more effective even on complex stones.
- Side effects from laser lithotripsy are not common but may include excessive bleeding, urinary tract infections, and subsequent scarring.
Kidney Stone Laser Surgery Recovery Time
- Recovery time for laser lithotripsy is significantly less than with an open surgery.
- Patients are usually given one to two more days of observation after the procedure.
- After one or two days without any complications, patients can resume their daily activities without experiencing any problems.
Kidney Stone Laser Surgery Cost
- The cost of laser lithotripsy is quite expensive.
- Several factors affect the cost of the procedure including where the procedure was performed, what anesthesia was used, and the extent of the procedure due to the type of stone.