The surgery to remove a kidney stone used to be one of the most difficult. The invention of lithotripters changed everything and with the first ever non-invasive surgery a new era of medicine was born. The stone was seen to disintegrate on the x-ray. Much argument raged about which type of lithotripter was most effective until eventually the electro-hydraulic type proved it could disintegrate the stone best and prevent stein-strasse problems of particles sticking in the ureter. There remains the problem of the side effects of the x-ray; was it causing cancer?
The only way to avoid the side effects is not use an x-ray. Instead of the ESWT (extra-corporeal shockwave therapy) there is the ISWT (Intra-corporeal shockwave therapy machine) we make called Lithosplit. This ensures that the stone is fully broken and all pieces extracted. The urologist sees the stone through the ureteroscope and sucks out the particles by vacuum.
Quite apart from the patient benefits, a Lithosplit is about 1% to 2% of the price of an ESWT lithotripter.