For certain kidney stones, a nonsurgical approach of fragmenting the stone with shock waves may be used. Initially, these machines were enormous, cumbersome to use, and uncomfortable for the patient. The Department of Urology at the University of Kansas Hospital has the latest technology in their extracorporeal shock wave lithotripter. This new generation machine allows better imaging of the kidney stone with more precise delivery of the shock waves to minimize the risk to surrounding organs. Frequently, the treatment may be performed as an out-patient with as little disruption in the life of the patient being treated as possible. Dr. Paul Christensen has performed several hundred ESWL procedures with great success.
With improvements in technology, smaller and smaller fiberoptic scopes have been developed to allow physicians to see inside the human body. One of the places in which the largest advances have been made is in the imaging of the urinary tract with these small scopes. Dr. David Duchene and Dr. Ajay Nangia are experts in the field of ureteroscopy and endourology. Their expertise in this area allows patients with kidney stones, tumors of the ureter or renal pelvis, or narrowing of the ureter to be treated without the need for an incision. In the past, patients spent weeks in the hospital after treatment for these conditions. Today many of these procedures can be performed successfully as an outpatient.
Some stones or tumors of the kidney are too large to be treated with shock waves or ureteroscopy and require a more aggressive but still minimally invasive approach. In these patients a small tube can be placed through the back directly into the kidney to allow treatment of the stone or tumor. Dr. David Duchene and Dr. Ajay Nangia specialize in this technique. Working closely with our interventional radiologists, we have the latest in imaging techniques for this procedure resulting in excellent success rates for our patients.