Purpose: We assessed the effectiveness, safety and accessibility of performing FREDDY laser lithotripsy for managing urinary tract calculi. Materials and methods: From January 1999 to May 2005, 173 consecutive patients underwent endoscopic lithotripsy with FREDDY laser lithotripsy. The numbers of patients, according to stone location, were 18 patients for the upper ureter, 11 for the mid ureter and 144 for the lower ureter. Patients were treated with a rigid endoscope on a day surgery basis. Patients were assessed 6 to 12 weeks postoperatively with KUB and ultrasound or excretory urography for determining the late obstructive complications. Results: The mean stone size and mean operation time were 7.8mm and 36.6 minutes, respectively. The overall stone-free rates were 98.9%. The stone-free rates according to stone location were 100% in the upper ureter, 100% in the mid ureter and 98.6% in the lower ureter. There were no post-operative complications. Interestingly, there were no significant differences in the operation times and stone-free rates between the urologic specialists (36.7 min and 100%, respectively) and the training residents (37.1 min and 98.6%, respectively). Conclusions: FREDDY laser lithotripsy is a highly effective and safe modality for the treatment of ureteral stone. In addition, FREDDY laser lithotripsy is very feasible for training residents.
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