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The pulsed dye laser versus the q switched neodymium yag laser in laser induced shock wave lithotripsy

The pulsed dye laser versus the q switched neodymium yag laser in laser induced shock wave lithotripsy

Lasers in Surgery & Medicine 8(4): 363-370

To date, there are two fairly well-established alternatives for laser-induced shock-wave lithotripsy in clinical practice. The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is distinguished by the high-stone selectivity of its coupler systems. The necessity of a coupler system and its fairly small conversion rate of light energy into mechanical energy present serious drawbacks. Furthermore, the minimal outer diameter of the transmission system is 1.8 mm. The pulsed-dye laser can be used with a highly flexible and uncomplicated 200-.mu.m fiber. However, the laser system itself is more complicated than the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and requires a great deal of maintenance. Biological evaluation of damage caused by direct irradiation shows that both laser systems produce minor damage of different degrees. YAG laser lithotripsy with the optomechanical coupler was assessed in 31 patients with ureteral calculi. The instability and limited effectiveness of the fiber application system necessitated auxiliary lithotripsy methods in 14 cases. Dye-laser lithotripsy is currently being tested in clinical application. Further development, such as systems for blind application or electronic feedback mechanisms to limit adverse tissue effects, have yet to be optimized. Nevertheless, laser-induced shock-wave lithotripsy has the potential to become a standard procedure in the endourologic management of stone disease.

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