Monday, April 17, 2023
An estimated 1 in 10 people will develop a kidney stone at some point in their life, with over half a million patients reporting to emergency rooms with stone-related problems each year. They are very common and can be dangerous if left untreated, so it’s important to understand what kidney stones are and how to address them if they develop.
What are kidney stones?
Urine is produced as the kidneys work to remove waste from the bloodstream. When you become dehydrated or have a diet high in sodium and/or low in calcium, these minerals in the urine can become more concentrated, and begin to crystallize. Over time these crystals can grow into solid objects we commonly refer to as “kidney stones.”
A stone may be as small as a grain of sand and pass through the urinary tract completely unnoticed. Larger stones may cause irritation within the urinary tract resulting in discomfort, infection, or blood in the urine. In more extreme cases, the flow of urine can be severely or completely impeded, resulting in the buildup of pressure on the kidney, severe pain, potential loss of kidney function and infection.
Symptoms of kidney stones typically include:
- Severe pain on either side of the lower back often accompanied by persistent stomach ache or pain
- Blood in urine
- Fever and chills
- Cloudy urine
When it comes to kidney stone treatment, Norman Urology Associates physicians David Cochran, MD, Edward Dakil, MD, Alexander Jones, MD and Bradley Wilson, MD, have always been at the forefront of providing state-of-the-art care to its patients. Now patients can get state-of-the-art kidney stone treatment at Norman Regional Health System with the United Medical Systems' LaserLitho technology. This innovative system provides a myriad of benefits for kidney stone patients, including reduced recovery time, less pain, and a higher success rate. In this blog, we will explore the advantages of LaserLitho and how Norman Urology Associates along with Norman Regional is revolutionizing kidney stone treatment.
What is LaserLitho?
LaserLitho, developed by United Medical Systems, is an advanced laser lithotripsy system designed for the efficient and effective treatment of kidney stones. This cutting-edge technology utilizes a high-powered holmium laser to break down kidney stones into smaller, more manageable fragments. The LaserLitho system features a state-of-the-art laser fiber with a unique stone-targeting mechanism, ensuring precise targeting and optimal stone fragmentation.
The Benefits of LaserLitho
Minimally Invasive Procedure
One of the most significant advantages of the LaserLitho system is its minimally invasive nature. Unlike traditional surgical methods, this technology allows Norman Urology Associates' skilled physicians to treat kidney stones without the need for large incisions. Instead, a small, flexible scope is inserted through the patient's urinary tract, providing direct access to the stone. The laser then breaks the stone into small fragments, which can be easily passed through the urinary system.
Faster Recovery Time
Thanks to the LaserLitho procedure, patients experience a significantly faster recovery time compared to traditional surgical methods. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days, with minimal post-operative pain and discomfort.
Reduced Risk of Complications
The LaserLitho system reduces the risk of complications commonly associated with other kidney stone treatment methods. The precision of the laser minimizes damage to surrounding tissue and significantly reduces the risk of infection, bleeding, and other complications. This safer approach to kidney stone treatment allows patients to undergo the procedure with confidence, knowing they are in the capable hands of Norman Urology Associates' skilled physicians. Much of this is due to LaserLitho’s ability to clearly visualize the kidney stone structures like never before through its 4k resolution, which is four times that of the existing HD standard.
LaserLitho offers customizable treatment settings, allowing physicians at Norman Urology Associates to tailor the procedure to each patient's unique needs. By adjusting the laser's power and pulse settings, physicians can optimize the treatment for various stone compositions, sizes, and locations. This personalized approach ensures that each patient receives the most effective and efficient treatment possible.
Norman Urology Associates' adoption of United Medical Systems' LaserLitho technology demonstrates their commitment to providing the highest quality care for kidney stone patients. With this cutting-edge system, patients can expect a minimally invasive, efficient, and effective treatment option with reduced recovery time and a higher success rate.
When to Seek Treatment for Kidney Stones?
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.
- Severe and persistent pain in the side, back, or lower abdomen that does not subside with over-the-counter pain medications or
- High fever or chills signaling a possible infection,
- Blood in the urine,
- Difficulty or pain during urination, or a
- Persistent and unrelenting urge to urinate
Norman Regional has four emergency departments equipped to provide prompt assessment, pain management, and appropriate intervention, ensuring timely treatment to prevent complications like kidney damage or infection.
If your symptoms don’t warrant immediate treatment or if you are interested in learning more about the LaserLitho system, contact Norman Urology Associates. You can schedule an appointment online here or call here to schedule an appointment at any of their offices in Blanchard, Chickasha, Lawton, Moore or Norman.