Saturday, January 14, 2006

Laser Surgery for Urinary Stones

Today we have used for the first time our new Holmium laser, Stonelight, manufactured by Laserscope.

We invited Dr. Gaspar Ibarluzea in this ocassion as invited surgeon. He is a fantastic endourologist from Bilbao. Dr. Luis Llanes, the director of the stone unit from the Institute of Advanced Urological Surgery and I helped him to treat two patients with very complex urinary stones.

Endourology has advanced significantly with the use of Holmium laser. It fragments stones easily respecting the tissues from the urinary tract and allows us to treat urinary stones endoscopically, in a minimally invasive way. Patients recover very soon and go back to their normal life in a few hours in the simpler cases or in a few days in the more complex ones. Today, endourology is taking over extracorporal shock wave lithotripsy because is more efficacious and quicker for the patient.

We operated two patients, and we had the chance to check the efficacy of this Stonelight laser in kidney and ureteral stones. We first performed a percutaneous surgery on a very big uric acid stone that filled the whole left renal pelvis and the upper part of the kidney, and then we performed a left flexible ureteroscopy and intracorporeal holmium laser lithotripsy followed by a right percutaneous surgery in the same patient.

We also had the collaboration of several companies manufacturing surgical instruments, as Olympus, Storz and Boston Scientific, that allowed us to try the newest advances in endourology, as flexible ureteroscopes, special guides and baskests, and so on and so forth.

A fantastic day, we learned a lot. My colleague from the ICUA, Dr. Luis Llanes, has plenty of experience with these endourological techniques and from now on we will be able to offer the newest endourological treatment options with Holmium laser to our patients.

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