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Proceedings Paper

Thulium fiber laser lithotripsy using a muzzle brake fiber tip
Author(s): Thomas C. Hutchens; David A. Gonzalez; Pierce B. Irby; Nathaniel M. Fried
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Paper Abstract

The Thulium fiber laser (TFL) is being explored as an alternative to Holmium:YAG laser for lithotripsy. TFL beam profile allows coupling of higher power into smaller fibers than multimode Holmium laser beam, without proximal fiber tip degradation. A smaller fiber provides more space in ureteroscope working channel for increased saline irrigation and allows maximum ureteroscope flexion. However, distal fiber tip burnback increases as fiber diameter decreases. Previous studies utilizing hollow steel sheaths around recessed distal fiber tips reduced fiber burnback, but increased retropulsion. In this study, a “fiber muzzle brake” was tested for reducing fiber burnback and stone retropulsion. TFL lithotripsy studies were performed at 1908 nm, 35 mJ, 500 μs, and 300 Hz using a 100-μm-core fiber. The optimal stainless steel muzzle brake tip tested consisted of a 1-cm-long, 560-μm-OD, 360-μm-ID tube with 275-μm thru hole located 250-μm from the distal end. The fiber tip was recessed a distance of 500 μm. Stone phantom retropulsion, fiber tip burnback, and calcium oxalate stone ablation studies were performed, ex vivo. Small stones with a mass of 40 ± 4 mg and 4-mm-diameter were ablated over a 1.5-mm sieve in 25 ± 4 s (n=10), without distal fiber tip burnback. Reduction in stone phantom retropulsion distance by 50% and 85% was observed when using muzzle brake tips versus 100-μm-core bare fibers and hollow steel tip fibers. The muzzle brake fiber tip provided efficient stone ablation, reduced stone retropulsion, and minimal fiber degradation during TFL lithotripsy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 February 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10038, Therapeutics and Diagnostics in Urology: Lasers, Robotics, Minimally Invasive, and Advanced Biomedical Devices, 100380G (6 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2250994
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas C. Hutchens, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
David A. Gonzalez, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Pierce B. Irby, Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)
Nathaniel M. Fried, The Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte (United States)
Carolinas Medical Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10038:
Therapeutics and Diagnostics in Urology: Lasers, Robotics, Minimally Invasive, and Advanced Biomedical Devices
Hyun Wook Kang; Kin Foong Chan, Editor(s)

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