In recent years, the surgical treatment of kidney stone disease has undergone tremendous advances, many of which were possible only as a result of improvements in surgical technology. Rigid intracorporeal lithotrites, the mainstay of percutaneous nephrolithotomy, are now available as combination ultrasonic and ballistic devices. These combination devices have been reported to clear a stone burden with much greater efficiency than devices that operate by either ultrasonic or ballistic energy alone. The laser is the most commonly used flexible lithotrite; advances in laser lithotripsy have led to improvements in the currently utilized Holmium laser platform, as well as the development of novel laser platforms such as Thulium and Erbium devices. Our understanding of shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) has been improved over recent years as a consequence of basic science investigations. It is now recognized that there are certain maneuvers with SWL that the treating physician can do that will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome while minimizing the likelihood of adverse treatment-related events.
- Shockwave lithotripsy
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