Lasers are used to treat kidney stones and ureter from the distant 1980 year. But let explain in short what kidney stones are and what the procedure of breaking kidney stones with laser is, also known as laser lithotripsy.
Kidney stones are a condition in which there are crystals in the urine and they are precipitated to form a solid (concretion) in the kidney. Sometimes they may migrate along the urine and consequently blocking the urethra (the stem which connects the kidney to the bladder), which is only a few millimeters wide and cause severe pain gastropods, nausea and vomiting – a condition known as renal crisis. If a stone has not been cast for 30 days, the doctor may recommend laser lithotripsy with the aim of breaking the stone.
Who is the right patient?
Not every patient who has large kidney stones is suitable for laser lithotripsy. The proposed laser procedure is recommended for ureteral stones larger than 5 mm that can not be treated with other more conservative method (drug or extracorporeal breaker for example). Also, this procedure is advised for patients with stones in the kidney with a size smaller than 2 cm, wherein which extracorporeal whipping has failed as well as bladder stones. Laser treatment requires general anesthesia and takes between 1 and 3 hours depending on the size and location of the stone.
Detailed information about laser lithotripsy
During laser lithotripsy stones are broken down into small fragments. The laser represents a light and in order to be efficient, a direct contact with the stoneinside the body is needed. To reach the stone, doctors use special tools – ureteroscopes which penetrate the patient’s body through a natural orifice (urethra), and the laser beam moves along the particular optical fiber with a diameter slightly larger than the thread. In this way professionals manage to transfer the laser in direct contact with the stone, and released from it power breaks the stone.
Disposal of stones
Once broken, the fragments of stones pass easily through the urethra and out with urine. In some cases the urologist may decide to put a stent “Double-J” in the ureter to facilitate the elimination of the fragments after the laser procedure. Sometimes piss fragments can cause mild pain and burning sensation when urinating, but they are short-lived and well tolerated by patients.
Usually patients are free to go home the next day after the procedure.
Risks and complications
Laser lithotripsy is bloodless surgery that is performed in conditions of anesthesia. Risks and complications are rare:
– painful urination in the first 1-2 days after the procedure due to light trauma inflicted during penetration through the urethra and bladder into the ureter.
– Presence of blood in the urine
– risk of infection – in rare cases there is a risk of infection that occurs with temperature over 38 degrees, aches, cloudy urine.
– risk of injury to the ureter.