Patent number 8540729 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Concretions can develop in certain parts of the body, such as in the kidneys, pancreas, and gallbladder. Minimally invasive medical procedures generally involve causing limited trauma to the tissues of a patient, and can be used to dispose of problematic concretions. Lithotripsy and ureteroscopy, for example, are used to treat urinary calculi (e.g., kidney stones) in the ureter of patients.
"Lithotripsy is a medical procedure that uses energy in various forms such as acoustic shock waves, pneumatic pulsation, electrical hydraulic shock waves, or laser beams to break up biological concretions such as urinary calculi (e.g., kidney stones). The force of the energy, when applied either extracorporeally or intracorporeally, usually in focused and continuous or successive bursts, comminutes a kidney stone into smaller fragments that may be extracted from the body or allowed to pass through urination. With the help of imaging tools such as transureteroscopic video technology and fluoroscopic imaging, the operator of the lithotripter device can monitor the progress of the medical procedure and terminate treatment when residual fragments are small enough to be voided or removed.
"Intracorporeal fragmentation of urinary calculi can prove problematic in that stones and/or stone fragments in the ureter may become repositioned closer to and possibly migrate back toward the kidney, thereby requiring further medical intervention to prevent the aggravation of the patient's condition. It is desirable to be able to extract such fragments from the body using a single instrument, to prevent the need for successive instrumentation.
"Many known stone extraction devices are rigid and lack the maneuverability and flexibility to engage and disengage repeatedly a stone without harming the surrounding tissue. For example, if a stone is still too large to be extracted without further fragmentation, it can be difficult to disengage the stone from such an extraction device without damaging the delicate lining of the ureteral wall."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention mitigates the risk of damage to surrounding body tissue when treating and/or removing organic material (e.g., blood clots, tissue, and biological concretions such as urinary, biliary, and pancreatic stones) and inorganic material (e.g., components of a medical device or other foreign matter), which may obstruct or otherwise be present within the body's anatomical lumens. In one embodiment, the invention prevents the upward migration of stone fragments generated during a stone fragmentation procedure and safely and efficiently extracts fragments from the body. The invention also enables repeated application to stones, stone fragments, and other biological and nonbiological/foreign material while minimizing trauma to the surrounding tissue.
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