Hadassah: Renowned in Noninvasive Removal of Kidney Stones

Wednesday, Jan 9 2013

One of the first hospitals in the world to acquire a lithotripter--which revolutionized the elimination of kidney stones with noninvasive shock wave therapy—the Hadassah Medical Center today houses the largest Kidney Stone Treatment Center in Israel.

Since 1985 when Hadassah began treating patients with shock wave lithotripsy, the Center has retired its first unit, replacing it in August 2010 with the more sophisticated Dornier Gemini lithotripter. The new machine causes less discomfort to patients and requires milder sedation. Where previously patients needed to be placed in a special bath for the treatment, they now undergo the hour procedure fully clothed, lying on a bed.

Hadassah's lithotripsy patients have ranged from a five-year-old girl who had a large stone in her right kidney, to a middle-aged woman with a renal pelvis stone, to a 107-year-old man who developed a stone in the upper part of his ureter. The middle-aged woman had been originally scheduled for surgery at another hospital to remove the stone, but decided to seek a second opinion at Hadassah. While Dr. Duvdevani, Director of Hadassah's Lithotripsy and Endo-Urology units, agreed that the size and location of the stone did make the woman a candidate for surgery, he suggested that she try one lithotripsy treatment to see if surgery could be avoided. Dr. Duvdevani dilated her ureter by inserting a stent, which also created an easier exit for the stone fragments. The lithotripsy proved successful in shattering the stone, which within four weeks passed out normally through her urine.

Dr. Duvdevani serves on a seven-member international committee that determines which medical centers throughout the world will be authorized to conduct fellowships in endo-urology, thereby shaping this specialty for the future. The Endo-Urological Society has authorized Hadassah to be the first non-American/non European Medical Center to conduct fellowships in endo-urology. The first fellow to train at Hadassah is a physician from India.

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