For the first time in North Wales Urology and Operating Theatre teams have performed a ‘hot’ emergency operation for kidney stones using cutting edge laser surgery.
A patient with kidney stones would usually have a procedure to have a stent fitted as a temporary measure to reduce pain and infection, before having to return for a second operation to have the stones removed.
This new ‘hot stone’ procedure means patients will have the stones removed in one short procedure resulting in quicker treatment and recovery with less time spent in hospital.
Professor Iqbal Shergill, Urology Clinical Lead at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “The ‘hot stone’ laser surgery means patients are being treated quickly and efficiently in one short procedure, giving them a better chance of a quicker recovery, with less time in hospital.
“The new laser surgery is the result of the service’s improvement programme, following the Get It Right First Time (GIRFT) national guidance. We will aim to roll out this GIRFT approved treatment to rest of North Wales shortly.”
The procedure is keyhole surgery under short general anaesthesia, using a small calibre camera passed into the bladder and then into the ureter, to find the kidney stone which is then lasered using a small fibre passed down through the camera.
Kelly Moody, Lead Nurse for emergency urology laser surgery, said: "It is rewarding to be involved in driving this forward, with all of our nursing team. By improving the service we provide, patients will benefit significantly by reducing their in-patient time and eliminating the need for a second operation. Theatre staff are all keen to continue to help and support this service for our patients.”
Sister Rachel Lines, Laser Safety Officer and Senior Sister in urology theatres was also enthusiastic in her support. She said: “We have led the way in North Wales with cutting edge laser surgery for elective kidney stones and prostate patients. I was delighted to support the emergency team in performing this first procedure and am confident we can continue to improve care for urology and theatre patients in the future.”