Lithostar Extracorporeal Shock-Wave Lithotripsy: The Initial Experience
The era of extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy (ESWL) began with the first experimental treatment of a human calculus by Dr. Christian Chaussy, in cooperation with Dornier Medical Systems, in February, 1980 (1). It rapidly found world-wide acceptance and today is the treatment of choice for uncomplicated renal and upper ureteral calculi. The Dornier HM-3 lithotripter, introduced in 1984, has been the most extensively-used model and is today the standard for comparisons. This first-generation lithotripter, however, made several medical, technical, and logistic improvements desirable. These modifications gave rise to a number of secondgeneration lithotripters, one of which is the Siemens Lithostar. This is a bath-free unit which uses local coupling, via a silicone coupling head, for shock-wave transmission to the patient. Shock waves are electromagnetically generated by two independent shock-wave generators that are housed within a multi-purpose urological x-ray table. Stone localization and treatment monitoring are accomplished by an anteroposterior and an oblique x-ray unit.