With Laser Lithotripsy, a laser is used to break stones into very small pieces. The pieces can then be removed during the same procedure or pass out of the body through urine.
Laser lithotripsy is often used for stones that are too large to pass or are irregularly shaped. General anesthesia is used while a ureteroscope passes through the urethra to access the stone.
Once the stone is visible, a fiber is sent through the scope and creates a laser beam to break it up. A small basket can be used to collect the fragments of the stone. If small fragments remain (similar in size to grains of sand), then they may be left to pass through urine.
The lasers used for this procedure are able to break up very hard stones.
The procedure can be performed in about an hour.
An estimated 10% of Americans will experience a kidney stone in their lifetime.
You may need to avoid pushing, pulling, and heavy lifting for two to four weeks, but will otherwise be able to return to work within one week, depending on your situation. If you show signs of an infection or are in pain, call us so that we can evaluate.
If a follow-up is needed, imaging tests may be used to check for any remaining stones and to ensure that urine is draining correctly from the kidney.