Kidney stones can cause excruciating pain and distress as they pass through the urinary system. While small stones may pass naturally through urination, larger ones often require intervention for removal. Prolife Hospitals offers laser kidney stone removal – an advanced minimally invasive technique to eliminate stones of any size and location within the kidneys and urinary tract.
Understanding Kidney Stones
Kidney stones (also called renal calculi) are hard crystalline deposits that form inside the kidneys from minerals and salt precipitating out of concentrated urine. Based on their composition, stones are classified as calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, cystine, etc. Risk factors include family history, dehydration, certain diets, medications, and health conditions.
Stones under 5mm may pass through urination without intervention. However, larger stones can get stuck causing severe colicky pain, nausea, blood in urine, and urinary tract infections. This requires urgent stone removal procedures.
Overview of Laser Lithotripsy
Laser lithotripsy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses high-energy laser pulses to break down and disintegrate kidney stones. It is also called holmium laser treatment. The urologist inserts a thin flexible instrument called a ureteroscope up the urethra into the bladder and then up to the ureter.
Using real-time imaging, the laser fiber is guided precisely toward the stone. The laser fires rapid pulses that break atomic bonds in the crystal lattice structure of the stones. This pulverizes them into sand-like fragments that can be passed easily through urination.
Laser lithotripsy can treat stones located anywhere in the kidneys, ureter, and bladder with a very high success rate. It is done under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure taking approximately 45-60 minutes.
Why Laser Lithotripsy is Preferred?
There are several key reasons laser lithotripsy has become a preferred option for kidney stone removal:
- Extremely effective for stones of all compositions and sizes
- Minimally invasive procedure with no incisions
- Can treat stones in difficult-to-reach areas
- Low risk of complications and minimal side effects
- Generally requires just a single session
- Fast recovery with most patients resuming normal activities in 1-2 days
Compared to more invasive surgical procedures or shock wave lithotripsy, laser lithotripsy has major advantages including shorter hospitalization, less pain, and fewer complications.
How Does Laser Kidney Stone Removal Work?
During the procedure, the urologist will take the following steps:
- Cystoscopy – Insert a scope into the urethra/bladder to visualize the stone
- Ureteroscopy – Insert a flexible ureteroscope up to the ureter guided by a camera
- Laser Fiber – Thread the laser probe near the stone and fire laser pulses
- Stone Fragmentation – Laser breaks the stone into fine dust
- Stone Removal – Use a basket or forceps to extract larger fragments
- Stent Placement – Insert a ureteral stent if needed for post-op healing
Multiple stones can be treated in a single session. Larger stones may require longer laser pulsing but disintegrate efficiently. The microscopic dust particles then naturally pass out through urination.
Recovery and Aftercare
Patients can go home the same day once the effects of anesthesia wear off. Typical aftercare includes:
- Drinking extra fluids to flush out fragments
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers as needed
- Avoiding strenuous activities for 1-2 days
- Strain urine to collect fragments for stone analysis
- Follow-up visit to check kidney healing
It may take a few weeks to pass all the debris. The urologist will monitor progress through kidney scans and bloodwork. Overall, most patients have a quick and comfortable recovery after laser lithotripsy.
Candidates for Laser Kidney Stone Removal
Laser lithotripsy may be recommended for patients with:
- Large or multiple kidney stones
- Obstructing stones causing sudden pain
- Stones resistant to fragmentation with shock wave lithotripsy
- Lower ureteral stones that have failed to pass spontaneously
- Bleeding disorders or taking blood thinners
- Anatomical abnormalities making surgery difficult
- Morbidly obese patients at high surgical risk
Prolife Hospitals’ experienced urologists assess each case to determine if laser lithotripsy is the most suitable option based on stone analysis, symptoms, comorbidities, and patient preferences.
Benefits of Choosing Prolife Hospitals
There are many advantages of opting for laser kidney stone removal at Prolife Hospitals:
- Advanced holmium laser technology for precision stone targeting
- Skilled urologists with extensive experience in laser lithotripsy
- Minimal pain and faster recovery compared to open-stone surgery
- Low risk of complications based on strong safety record
- Higher clearance rates versus other hospitals
- Latest imaging tools for accurate stone localization
- Provision of the stent if needed for optimal post-op healing
- Affordable procedure cost with transparent pricing
By offering laser lithotripsy performed by expert urological teams, Prolife Hospitals provides kidney stone patients with an effective minimally invasive treatment, minimal downtime, and significant cost savings.
For patients suffering from large, obstructing, and complex kidney stones, laser lithotripsy is generally the treatment of choice offering a high success rate, minimal invasiveness, and faster recovery than traditional stone surgeries. Prolife Hospitals provides state-of-the-art laser technology with experienced urologists to deliver exceptional results. Speak to a urologist to determine if you may be a suitable candidate for this life-changing procedure.