Fiber laser as a pulverizer of kidney stones
Last month a health organization from the USA tested a newly developed fiber laser that can turn kidney stones into dust-like particles. Thanks to this new fiber laser technology, specialists are capable of reducing even large kidney stones to dust and then suction or flush them from the patient’s body. The super-pulsed fiber laser targets the water in the stones and turns a big stone, for example, the size of a thumb, into dust particles of 100 microns or fewer.
According to the statistics, the number of Americans with kidney stones has doubled in recent years. More than 10% of the population had a kidney stone experience in their life. That is why scientists were looking for more effective treatment techniques including fiber laser systems.
As fiber laser technology has evolved in recent years, fiber lasers have been applied in lithotripsy to break up stones. There is even no need for incisions. A specialist passes a fiber laser to see and part it. In comparison with the other types of lasers, the thulium fiber laser can split kidney stones 10 times smaller than by usual a holmium laser that is mostly used. The smaller particles generated from the thulium fiber laser are easier to remove.
Due to the research, a holmium laser can clear 50% — 60% of stone fragments, while a thulium fiber laser is able to clear more than 90% of fragments. Scientists also hope to achieve such high numbers clinically. This fiber laser technology allows making the treatment procedure less painful and costly than surgically removing. Thanks to this fiber laser system, there would be no incisions and far less chance of complications such as bleeding or infection. Moreover, patients would have no need for an overnight hospital stay.
Nowadays, the research team started developing a sensing device to prevent injury to the ureter during stone surgery. This new device will be used with the thulium fiber laser. The common approach with the use of both these developments demonstrated 94% clearance rates of kidney stones.
Both these fiber laser technologies lead to further evolution in surgery and improvement in the quality of life for people.
Optromix Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, is a manufacturer of laser technologies, optical fiber sensors, and optical monitoring systems. We develop and manufacture a broad variety of Fiber lasers, СО 2 lasers, Ti: Sapphire lasers, Dye lasers, and Excimer Lasers. We offer simple Erbium laser and Ytterbium laser products, as well as sophisticated laser systems with unique characteristics, based on the client’s inquiry.
We manufacture laser modules using our technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of the international R&D team. Laser processes are high-quality, high-precision, easily automated manufacturing solutions that provide repeatability and flexibility.