Why Holmium ?

The Sphinx Holmium laser has the advantage of producing extremely high peak power pulses in a very short pulse width, which provides significant advantages in the treatment of kidney and bladder stones. This provides a less invasive and more efficient treatment of all types of stones.

Benefits of Using the Sphinx Holmium Laser

Greater than 95% success of treating the stone with a single treatment

Works on all types of stones

A large range of laser fibers allow for either flexible or rigid scopes to be used


Kidney and bladder stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that form small “rocks”. These rocks can vary in size and can become as large as a golf ball. These stones can be found in the kidney, bladder and in fact anywhere in the urinary tract. If the stone is “passed” it can cause extreme pain as it progresses out of the body


Types of Stones

There are four main types of stones that can be formed.

Calcium stones are the most common type of kidney stone and are formed when the urine is highly alkaline.

Uric acid stones form when the urine is persistently acidic. These stones can be caused by the proteins that are found in a rich diet, that includes meat, fish and shellfish.

Struvite stones normally are caused by a kidney infection

Cystine stones result from a genetic disorder that allows cysteine to leak through the kidney into the urine and forms crystals that eventually grow into stomes.


Causes/Risk Factors

Stones may form when the normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other substances found in urine changes. How this balance changes determines the type of Stone you have. Most stones are calcium-type, they form when the calcium levels in your urine change. Factors that change your urine balance include:

Not drinking enough water:

Try to drink enough water to keep your urine clear (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day). When you don’t drink enough water, the salts, minerals, and other substances in the urine can stick together and form a stone. This is the most common cause of kidney stones.


Medical conditions:

Many medical conditions can affect the normal balance and cause stones to form. Gout is one example. Also, people who have inflammatory bowel disease or who have had surgery on their intestines may not absorb fat from their intestines in a normal way. This changes the way the intestines process calcium and other minerals, and it may lead to kidney stones.


Bladder infections may also lead to bladder stones as a result of stagnating urine.


More commonly, kidney stones can be congenital, as they often occur in family members over several generations.


Treatment Options

Depending on the size of the stone your doctor will suggest treatment options ranging from drinking more water (about 8-10 glasses a day to keep urine clear), non-invasive therapy to invasive surgical procedures. (approximately 1 or 2 out of every 10 kidney stone will need interventional treatment). Your doctor can advise you on which procedure is best for your type of stone. One of the common surgical interventional treatments is the use of the holmium laser lithotripsy.

Non-Invasive Procedures

ESWL or Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy: uses shock waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces that can more easily travel through the urinary tract and pass from the body. This treatment options often requires multiple treatments to fully break the stone, and is usually only used on smaller stones.

Minimally – Invasive Surgical

The Sphinx Holmium laser is a treatment option that uses the laser with a small laser fiber to be passed up through the ureter to the stone, the stone is broken into small pieces and then these small pieces can be are suctioned away.

Invasive Surgical

PCNL or Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is a method that is often used on kidney stones larger than 2 centimeters in size or for hard stones. General anesthesia is required. A small incision is made in the back and a nephroscope is passed directly into the kidney. Direct fragmentation of the stone is performed using an ultrasonic, electrohydraulic, or laser device through the nephroscope under direct vision.