The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital says it has performed its first laser surgery to remove kidney stones.
Stephen Ikuerowo, a professor of urology at LASUTH, said the laser lithotripsy treatment would save patients the pain of opening up their upper urinary tract during surgery.
Lithotripsy is a treatment using ultrasound shock waves to break kidney stones into smaller particles that the body can pass out.
On Thursday, Mr Ikuerowo disclosed this in a statement issued by Oluwaseyi Adewale, Head, Public Affairs Department of LASUTH, in Lagos.
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LASUTH is the first public hospital to deploy laser treatment for kidney stones in Lagos and arguably in Nigeria, according to the statement.
He added that the hospital now had a full upper tract endoscopic and laser facility that Lagos residents and others could access.
On the cost of the treatment, Mr Ikuerowo noted that the cost of accessing the treatment in hospitals outside Nigeria would take a huge chunk from patients’ money, but that accessing such care at LASUTH would be half the cost of getting the treatment in private hospitals in the country.
Also, Oluwaseun Akinola, consultant urologist at LASUTH, said the breakthrough would translate to access to more affordable healthcare, fewer scars and a faster recovery rate for patients.
“The present management of LASUTH, under the leadership of the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, has now made it possible, as the first surgery was carried out today by a complete team of local health professionals,” said Mr Akinola. “This mode of treatment will allow patients to leave for home in two days.”
The urologist advised the public to ensure adequate care by making it a habit to drink at least three litres of water daily, noting that 90 per cent of kidney stone cases were caused by dehydration.
He also advised a reduction in salt intake and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while recommending a visit to the hospital immediately if they experienced abnormal pain.
Mr Akinola stressed that kidney stones left untreated could develop into serious diseases that might cause total kidney collapse and eventual loss.