A Usability Comparison of Laser Suction Handpieces for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Casey A. Dauw, Michael S. Borofsky, Nadya York, James E. Lingeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: The holmium laser has revolutionized the practice of minimally invasive endoscopy for kidney stones. Recently, a novel, rigid handpiece for use in percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) that couples the holmium laser with suction has been developed. To date, limited data exist regarding the usability and ergonomics of such treatment systems. We thus sought to compare surgeon-rated usability with three different suction laser handpieces in a porcine model. Materials and Methods: We performed bilateral reverse PCNL on four female domestic farm pigs. After induction of general anesthesia, percutaneous access was obtained into each kidney by using biplanar fluoroscopy and 8 mm stones (plaster of Paris) were inserted into the calix or renal pelvis for treatment. Four surgeons tested the LASER Suction Tube (Karl Storz®, Germany), LithAssist™ (Cook® Medical), and Suction Handpiece (HP) (Lumenis®, Israel) by using a combination of fragmentation (5 Joules/20 Hertz) and dusting (0.8 Joules/80 Hertz) settings on the Lumenis pulse 120 H laser. The primary outcome assessed was the ease of use of the three devices as measured by a surgeon questionnaire. Results: A total of 15 stones were treated in 8 renal units. The mean time required for stone fragmentation was 8 min. The mean handling and suction efficiency scores were similar between devices. The Suction HP offered the best laser fiber visibility during lithotripsy. Conclusion: Suction laser handpieces offer an option to treat renal stones via PCNL, with limited differences noted in most surgeon ratings between devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1168
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of endourology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • PCNL
  • kidney stones
  • laser
  • technology

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