Laser kidney stone treatment is a modern method of stone treatment, and it can be done without performing any kind of operation. This treatment is also known as lithotripsy.
In lithotripsy, the kidney stones are broken up with the help of shock waves. Once the stones are fragmented, they are ejected while urinating. There are two different approaches to lithotripsy: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy and Ureteroscopic Holmium Laser Lithotripsy. Both these procedures have been discussed in detail below.
What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy?
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is one of the most common methods of kidney stone treatment.
The procedure is a relatively simple one. Ultrasound shock waves are used to bombard the kidney stones. The stones are targeted from outside the body, and they shatter into very small fragments. Therefore they can pass out through urine.
This procedure is not painful, and therefore, no anesthetic substance is required. But some patients can feel a little uncomfortable. If this discomfort increases and causes pain, then painkillers are given.
What is Ureteroscopic Holmium Laser Lithotripsy?
Ureteroscopic Holmium Laser Lithotripsy is one of the more recent methods of laser kidney stone treatment. It is also very popular among patients and is available at most hospitals.
The kidney stones are broken into fragments with the help of a holmium laser, hence the name. The procedure is minimally invasive as a scope needs to be inserted into the urinary tract. This scope reaches the kidney, and then a holmium laser of 100 Watts power is used. This reduces the stones to dust, and the particles pass out when the patient is urinating.
Since this treatment requires the insertion of a scope, spinal anesthesia is administered. However, the procedure requires no incision and is absolutely painless.
Which Method Of Laser Kidney Stone Treatment Is Better?
Both of these treatments are beneficial to patients. ESWL can remove all stones in the upper ureter and kidney. At the same time, the Ureteroscopic Holmium Laser Lithotripsy is usually used to remove large stones from the ureter, bladder, kidney as well as the urethra. However, in ESWL, patients might develop Steinstrasse, which causes the ureter to be blocked. This does not happen in Ureteroscopic Holmium Laser Lithotripsy.
Developing kidney stones has become a common problem. These methods of laser kidney stone treatment are effective and can relieve the pain immediately. They also have a high success rate, and so patients can be completely cured of kidney stones.