June 23, 1994
Media Contact:Marc Kusinitz
Phone: (410) 955-8665
Urologists at The Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (JHOC) are using a new type of lithotripter to break up kidney stones with sound waves.
Unlike older models, the new lithotripter does not require patients to be lowered into a bath, or even lay on a bed of water, according to Robert G. Moore, M.D., a urologist at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, who treats patients at the JHOC. Instead, the water is located inside the shock wave generator under the table on which the patient lies.
Lithotripters use a device like a "spark plug" to generate shock waves that travel through water and into the patient. The waves are focused so they concentrate directly on the stone.
Because the new lithotripter keeps patient and water apart, doctors can more easily position patients to treat kidney stones in the lower tract as well.