Ureteral Ultrasonic Lithotripsy Revisited: A Neglected Tool?

Uri Gur, David A. Lifshitz, Dov Lask, Pinhas M. Livne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Ultrasonic lithotripsy was one of the first modalities used for treating renal and ureteral stones. However, in recent years, it has been largely replaced by newer techniques such as laser lithotripsy with rigid as well as flexible ureteroscopes. The aim of this study was to review the results and our current indications for ureteroscopic ultrasonic lithotripsy (UUL). Patients and Methods: Between October 2000 and May 2002, 340 ureteroscopies were performed for the treatment of ureteral stones in the Rabin Medical Center. Of this series, 9 patients (2.6%) underwent UUL using a semirigid 8F ureteroscope (Wolf) and an Olympus ultrasonic lithotripter (LUS-1) with a 4.5F hollow probe. Four patients had Steinstrasse following shockwave lithotripsy, four had large (1-2-mm) ureteral stones, and one had an impacted calcified ureteral double-J stent. Stones >5 mm were initially fragmented by the holmium laser (550-μm fiber). A double-J stent was placed in all patients. The mean follow-up time was 20 months. Results: The mean operative time was 84 minutes. No intraoperative complications occurred. The mean hospital stay was 3.9 days. Eight patients became stone free after the first procedure, and the other underwent secondary ureteroscopy, which rendered him stone free. Conclusions: Patients in whom UUL is performed are relatively complex stone patients. The use of ultrasonic lithotripsy following, or in combination with, laser or ballistic devices utilizes the unique properties of UUL, which combines stone fragmentation and efficient removal of small fragments. The technique was particularly useful in patients with Steinstrasse or a large stone burden. Thus, UUL has a limited but significant role in the treatment of ureteral stones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


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