12 July, 2022
A new surgical technique improves the extraction of kidney stones
Kidney stones are a disease that consist of the formation of calcium or stones in the kidneys or the urinary tracts. When this calcium is small, it’s possible for the patient to extract them naturally. But when they exceed a certain size, it’s suitable to carry out a medical-surgical treatment, as they can get stuck in the urinary tracts during their expulsion, blocking the flow of urine and causing great pain and complications. By betting on innovation, something that characterises the Hospital Clínic Group, the centre has incorporated into its services a novel technique for the treatment of kidney stones. This way, it has become the first hospital in Spain and the south of Europe to use and thereby improve the results of kidney stone extraction with the current Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or NLP.
IMPROVED RESULTS AND LESS HOSPITALISATION TIME IN THE TREATMENT OF KIDNEY STONES
The introduction of this new option for the treatment of kidney stones has been possible thanks to a new device designed in China, that allows for better suction, turning out to be much more efficient and effective. Furthermore, the new technique also includes continuous irrigation, with which serum enters constantly and in the surgery a procedure is employed that is minimally invasive and is known as Super-Mini Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or SMP.
All this means significant improvements for the patient, reducing in a big way the hospitalisation time. With the new technique, only one day is needed, while with the traditional approach three days were needed.
IMPROVEMENT IN PERCUTANEOUS NEPHROLITHOTOMY
In order to carry out an NLP, first a percutaneous puncture is made in the lumbar area, under the duodecimal rib. This way the team of surgeons is able to access the interior renal cavity and therefore able to fragment the calcium and extract it. This technique is suitable for renal calcium that measures at minimum 2cm in diameter.
Despite being a safe procedure, it’s not free from certain complications, such as renal bleeding, masses formed from urinary discharge of the urinary tract. However, the great experience of the Urology Service led by Dr. Antonio Alcaraz, who each year carries out about 300 renal lithiasis surgeries, 70 of which are NLP. Now it’s hoped that 30 can be carried out using the new technique.
RENAL LITHIASIS OR KIDNEY STONES, A FREQUENT AND RECURRENT COMPLICATION
Renal lithiasis is a very frequent disease, with a higher rate among the male population than the female. It’s estimated that close to 15% of men will develop it at some time in their life, while in women this percentage ranges from 5 to 10%. The majority of those affected are young adults, between 15 and 45.
But even more important than the rate is the fact that it’s a pathology with a high possibility for relapsing. Up to 50% of patients with renal lithiasis will have a new episode in the following 5 years and 90% in 25 years.