According to a technical insight study con- ducted by consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, in January, supplier of urology and incontinence treatments Bard Medical Division in Georgia, the US, which is a division of healthcare provider C.R.Bard has seen success in the use of its laser-based Endobeam device to break down kidney stones.
Bard Medical Division supplies physicians with a range of medical devices to access and treat medical conditions pertaining to kidney stones and other nephrological and urological conditions.
The device uses a holmium yttrium-doped aluminum garnet (YAG) laser. Holmium is a chemical that is a part of the lanthanide series on the periodic table, and is a rare-earth metal that is normally unreactive. YAG is a silicate mineral used for abrasion. The holmium YAG laser emits energy at 2 100 nanometres.
Although the device is indicated as applic- able for a variety of treatment uses, such as open surgery, laparoscopic use and endoscopic use, Endobeam is most commonly used as a percutaneous treatment option.
The long and thin fibre-optic cable, which has a diameter less than 400 microns, is inserted into the patient, through a small incision made in the thigh, or above the waistline. The cable is inserted and slowly pushed along the veins to the kidney. The physician monitors the progress of the scope on a monitor.
Endobeam is available as both single-use and as reusable laser fibres.Kidney Stones
When water intake is reduced or not enough, the body experiences a shortage of water to dilute the uric acid in the kidney. As a result, the kidney becomes more acidic and this environment becomes favourable for the formation of kidney stones. Urinary stones, a collective term for the stones along the urinary tract, are most commonly found in men.
Typically, small kidney stones leave the human body through the urine stream undetected. However, when the size is greater than two or three millimetres, it obstructs the ureter. This causes pain in the lower abdomen and groin, nausea, vomiting, blood in the urine, and a burning sensation while urinating. When the patient visits the hospital complaining about these symptoms, the condition is diagnosed from physical evaluation, ultrasound and an analysis of the urine. The treatment of kidney stones depends on the number, size and duration of the stones inside the patient.