Lithotripsy is the procedure performed to remove the stones present in the kidney. Kidney Stones have become common condition found in larger population. This condition is usually caused from the stressful lifestyle and improper dietary habits. The condition is seen more in men, who are in the age group of 30 to 60 years, than that of the women. The major causes for the kidney stones are high protein diet, less water consumption, obesity, high calcium diet or heredity. Minerals like uric acid and calcium from the food, are aggregated and form the stones in the kidneys. Such crystalline aggregations are usually made in the bladder, ureter or kidney.
If the stones are small and are of 3mm diameter, these are easily flushed through the urine. However, if these are formed in larger sizes, they settle in the ureters or kidneys and symptoms like pain, vomiting, nausea, fever, blood in urine and renal colic, etc., are caused. These stones that cause the a]pain must be crushed and removed from the kidneys.
Laser lithotripsy procedure is started by giving the general anesthesia to the patient. So, the patient would asleep and feels no pain during the surgery. Laser lithotripsy procedure is performed to remove the stones of the kidney with the help of laser energy. It is an invasive and advanced treatment procedure for the removal of the kidney stones. Surgeons use Yag laser, which is very powerful in delivering intense short infrared light pulses. The pulses are so intense that any of the stones can be broken, irrespective the hardness. The broken stones and fragments are excreted or flushed out through the urine. Since it is a minimally invasive surgery, the recovery of the patients will be very quick and feels no complications.
During the procedure, a camera is inserted through a thin tube through urethra. Urethra is the passage, through which the urine allowed to leave the ureter and the body. The camera used here is called ureteroscope. It functions as a clinical guide to guide the laser present in the tube to reach the targeted stones. Laser pulses are shot and each pulse is emitted for 0.0003 seconds to break the stone into various pieces. The laser beam used is a super fine wire having only 200 micrometers and can be rotated to any angle as ti is flexible enough. So, it can reach directly to any of the stone, so that risk of damage to any other unwanted tissues breaking down can be prevented.
The treatment is done in multiple sessions. The number of sessions needed is dependent on the number of the stones present in the kidney as well as the hardness of the stone in the kidney. Each of the session takes from 10 minutes to 1 hour of time. After the sessions are completed, x-ray is done to ensure, whether the stone is broken into fine pieces or not. If there are still more pieces to be broken, sessions will be continued.
After the surgery is performed, the patient may need to stay overnight. When the vital signs are stable, patients can go leave the hospital to home on even the very day.
There are many advantages for the laser lithotripsy.
- There would be no blood loss during and after the procedure.
- It is only non-invasive and so, surgery is not required, leaving hardly any complications.
- Since surgery is not performed, there are very few chances for the infection.
- Since it is non-invasive procedure, hospital stay would be shorter and recovery will be faster.
Cost of Lithotripsy Procedure in India
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