New versatile laser machine helping dozens of patients with kidney stones
Conventional surgery for the treatment and removal of kidney stones will be significantly reduced with the laser lithotriptor machine that has already been used on some 20 patients at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
This equipment which costs $25.2M can be used to treat stones, prostate complications and some cancers, Dr Ravi Purohit, a Urologist and Consultant at the hospital’s Urology Department said.
During an interview with the News Room on Friday, Dr Purohit explained, “this is a versatile machine. It is not only used for stones but it can be used for any other soft tissue surgery also. So practically mini-surgeries in the department of urology related to kidney surgery can be achieved with this machine.”
With this machine, stones can be removed from the bladder, urethra and kidney without much invasion into the body. Prostate surgery can also be done without much cutting and bladder tumors can also be removed.
This technique uses a high intensity laser beam to pulverise stones through an endoscope. There is no cut or scar on the abdomen and the patient is discharged, in most cases, on the same day.
Previously, doctors had to operate on patients using conventional surgeries which are invasive and have longer recuperation time. This proved to be of major discomfort to patients.
“It used to be a little more extensive procedure considering the risk to life as well as other things, when we talk about open surgery, it is a risky surgery.
“Whereas with this machine we are reducing the damage to the patient’s body caused by cuts and all those kinds of things,” the Urologist explained.
All patients who require the removal of kidney stones through surgery will benefit from this new equipment.
These persons will have a shorter recuperation time, making space for other patients in the hospital.
Additionally, he said, “Surgical indications have not changed because of this particular machine, they are the same as they were before, only thing is the convenience has increased and the patient’s comfort level has increased.”
The doctor also said that there was no need for training to use this machinery because the procedure previously used is similar.
“We were not in need of any specialised training for this machine. We have been doing endoscopic surgery using electrical current and other things so here we are using a different energy and more exposed to the technical part of this we all have that exposure before, so we are utilizing that,” Dr Purohit said.
Kidney stones affect 10% of the population during their lifetime and place a significant burden on the healthcare system. Almost 50% of the workload of the Urology Department is related to kidney stone disease.
To avoid developing kidney stones, persons are advised to have more fluid and water in their system to keep their urine clear, reduce salt use, and increase protein intake. Persons who have reoccurring kidney stones should seek further advice from their urologist on ways to reduce the risk.