Evaluation of pneumatic versus holmium:YAG laser lithotripsy for impacted ureteral stones
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We prospectively analyzed and compared the effectiveness and complications of pneumatic lithotripter with a holmium:yttrium–aluminum–garnet (Ho:YAG) laser for the ureterorenoscopic management of impacted ureteral stones.
Materials and methods
From January 2006 to January 2008, we performed retrograde endoscopic treatment in 288 patients with ureteral stones in our clinic. The patients with impacted stones were randomized into two groups according to the lithotripter used to fragment the stone: pneumatic (n = 40) and laser (n = 40). The preoperative, operative, and post-operative follow-up findings were analyzed and compared.
The average stone size was similar in both groups (118.8 ± 58.3 mm2 vs. 110.7 ± 54.4 mm2). The calculi were located in the distal ureter in most of the patients in both groups (65% in pneumatic group and 52.5% in laser group). The operation time was significantly diminished in the laser group (P = 0.001). The stone-free rates after a single ureteroscopic procedure were 80 and 97.5% in the pneumatic and laser groups, respectively (P = 0.03). Auxiliary treatments were needed in seven patients in the pneumatic group, while only one patient in the laser group (P = 0.05) needed this treatment. After the additional procedures, a 100% success rate was achieved in both groups. The rate of double J stent insertion was significantly higher in the pneumatic group (P = 0.01). In the pneumatic group, four cases of stone up-migration and one case of post-operative stricture were seen, whereas only one case of stone up-migration was noted in the laser group.
Our comparative study has shown that the use of Ho:YAG as an intracorporeal lithotripter during ureteroscopic management of impacted ureteral stones is highly efficient with high success rates, regardless of the stone location.
KeywordsImpacted ureter stone Laser lithotripsy Pneumatic lithotripsy Ureteroscopy Urolithiasis
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