The Georgetown Public Hospital has announced that patients suffering from kidney stones can now have those stones removed through laser treatment rather than conventional surgery.
The hospital through the Ministry of Health has procured a laser lithotripter at a cost of more than $25 million.
According to the hospital, using laser lithotripsy offers a completely non-invasive approach, which means that there will be no incision to treat patients with kidney stones who once required major surgery.
The laser technique uses a high intensity laser beam to pulverize stones through an endoscope. Patients who are eligible for laser treatment not only benefit from a non-invasive procedure, but may have shorter recovery times and hospital stays, allowing them to resume their regular routines earlier.
The service is free of cost and is being offered for the first time in the public healthcare sector, the GPHC said.
Kidney stones affect 10% of the population during their lifetime and places a significant burden on the healthcare system, the statement noted.
Almost 50% of the workload of the Urology Department is related to kidney stone disease. The hospital said that by using the modern laser technology, stone surgery is performed using a camera in the urinary tract. There is no cut or scar on the abdomen and the patient is discharged, in most cases, on the same day.
Traditionally, with open surgery, people had a large scar on the abdomen, spent days in hospital and required 1-2 months of recuperation.