Advantages and Risks of Laser Lithotripsy

What is laser lithotripsy?

Laser lithotripsy is a therapeutic weapon that in recent years has been incorporated into the urological arsenal. Laser lithotripsy is one of its main uses that we have more in vogue lately. Basically, it allows us to treat stones that a few years ago it was unthinkable to treat endoscopically, requiring open surgery. As a result, both the number of complications as well as the length of stay in the clinic and the patient’s recovery are achieved much sooner.

For what reasons is this procedure used?

When there is a stone obstructing the urinary tract, it is necessary to find a solution. Currently, the one that gives us greater safety and better results is laser lithotripsy, which we can use both as a semi-rigid ureteroscope, when the stone is closer to the bladder, and as a much finer and more delicate ureteroscope, flexible ureteroscopes, which allow us to enter inside the kidney itself.

What are the risks that the patient may suffer?

The risks of this type of laser lithotripsy are no different from any other type of endoscopy, of endoscopic treatment through the urinary tract. Actually, the use of the laser gives us much more safety while minimizing these same risks. The main and most serious risks may be perforation of the urinary tract, which actually occurs in less than 1% of cases, and bleeding, which most of the time is slight and does not go beyond 24 hours. On some occasions, for greater safety we use a ureteral catheter called a double jack that we maintain for two to three weeks while the patient recovers completely.