Holmium Laser Treatment

Holmium Laser Treatment

Urologist Dr. Vishal Vig   can perform kidney, bladder and ureteral stone removal  using a holmium laser. Urologists typically perform the procedure when patients are unable to pass stones on their own and experience discomfort and pain.

Holmium laser lithotripsy provides many patient benefits, including immediate relief of symptoms and a quick recovery. Laser lithotripsy uses a flexible laser fiber inserted into a scope through the urethra to the stone located in the bladder, ureter or kidney. When the laser is activated, the laser beam breaks up the stone into smaller sizes capable of being passed. No incisions are necessary and general anesthesia keeps the patient comfortable.

What is holmium laser lithotripsy?

Holmium laser lithotripsy is a method for using lasers to remove stones that are located in the urinary tract. This could include stones in the bladder, kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), or urethra (tube through which urine leaves the body). A flexible laser fiber is inserted through the urethra to break up the stones. The procedure is completed without any incisions.

What are the reasons why someone would need holmium laser lithotripsy?

It is an alternative to a procedure called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. In that procedure, sound waves from outside the body are used to break up the stones. Holmium laser lithotripsy has been shown to be effective no matter the size, location, and/or hardness of stone. These are limiting factors for shockwave.

What are the advantages of using holmium laser lithotripsy?

Compared to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, holmium laser lithotripsy has been shown to reduce the chance of steinstrasse. This is a complication of extracorporeal shock lithotripsy in which fragments of the stones block the ureter.

The procedure has been shown to be effective for a patient with multiple stones.

What is a disadvantage of holmium laser lithotripsy?

Holmium laser lithotripsy requires general anesthesia. For this reason, there is a hospital stay and higher costs compared to extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy.

What are some complications of holmium laser lithotripsy?

  • Pain
  • Blood in urine
  • Trouble urinating
  • Injury to the ureters