When Burlington Township’s Sherry Lewis discovered she had her first kidney stone, she had no idea that she would become the first patient at Salem Medical Center to experience the innovative Soltive Laser System by Olympus—a new generation of laser described by urologist Dr. Stuart Diamond as a “game changer.”
She’ll tell you that the hour or so drive south was worth every minute.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “I had no problems, no pain, no complications. And I couldn’t have asked for a nicer doctor in Dr. Diamond.”
SMC is the first hospital to have the Soltive Laser in the Delaware Valley — including hospitals in Philadelphia and Delaware.
“When it comes to treating kidney, bladder and ureteral stones, as well as ureter, kidney and bladder tumors, and prostate issues, there is no laser on the market that comes anywhere close,” said Dr. Diamond, SMC Chief of Surgery.
“The first time I used it, it was like seeing a kidney for the very first time, and I’ve been doing this for 22 years,” he said. “The fiber laser is tiny and flexible. It makes it easier to get to the harder-to-reach stones.”
The small laser fibers allow the doctor to find stones or tumors endoscopically and then destroy them. It uses a novel application of thulium fiber laser technology designed for stone lithotripsy and soft tissue applications.
“Normally, when you hit a stone with the laser, it moves and you have to chase it around. With the Soltive laser, the stone doesn’t move. It just sits there so you can work on it. I’ve always wanted that to be possible.”
In addition, the piece of equipment is half the size of the former laser unit, but twice as powerful.
The Soltive laser not only has the capability to break stones into small pieces but it can also reduce those fragments to a fine dust. That dust can then be easily passed by the patient, reducing—if not completely eliminating—the usually painful process of passing stone remnants.
“The new laser could possibly lessen the number of stones a patient develops by getting all of the pieces out of the kidney,” Dr. Diamond said. “Sometimes, small fragments left behind can grow into new stones.”
He explained the Soltive laser provides a “one-stop shop” for patients who may have multiple issues.
“It has the capability to treat both stones and tumors during the same procedure,” he said. “So, we now have the ability to handle many issues with one laser, in one sitting. Its capabilities are unique.
“It’s so much better for our patients because it reduces a patient’s pain, reduces time in the OR and can help prevent the reoccurrence of new stones.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from kidney stones or related issues, call Dr. Diamond at 856-339-4466 to schedule an appointment.