The holmium:yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser is the gold standard laser for intracorporeal lithotripsy.
Optical fibers are utilized to transmit laser energy to the surface of a stone for fragmentation. During
lithotripsy, fiber tip degradation (burn back) can occur. The exact mechanism for tip degradation and
related factors are not completely understood, and have not been investigated. This characteristic is
important because fiber burn back may affect diminish fragmentation efficiency, increase operative time,
and increase cost due to the need for fiber replacement. We hypothesize that fiber tip degradation (burn
back) varies amongst different commercially available holmium:YAG laser fibers.
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