Sierra View offers non-invasive kidney stone procedure
By Kent Sorrells, PhD.
Sierra View Local Health Care District Board Chairman
porterville – Across the nation, over half a million people suffer the pain and helplessness that come with having kidney stones each year according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Fortunately for valley residents, a new procedure has been developed by Gerhard Fuchs, M.D. and is performed at Sierra View Medical Center.
Dr. Fuchs and Virinder K. Bhadwaj, M.D. are both on the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine, USC Institute of Urology and have extensive backgrounds in Urology care. Both doctors are also associated with the Sierra View Medical Center USC Keck Urology Clinic of which Dr. Bhadwaj is the Medical Director.
This original procedure was developed by Dr. Fuchs to quickly locate kidney stones and thoroughly remove them with no hospital stay required for patients who experience kidney issues.
Kidneys serve a vital role in the body by eliminating byproducts of metabolism which come from food that is eaten or from processes during food digestion. When kidneys allow for excess amounts of these same byproducts to collect, they form kidney stones. The primary goal of doctors when treating kidney stones is to control infection and relieve obstructions caused by the stones.
In order to do this, doctors must first detect and locate the kidney stones based on each patient’s case. Although there are a variety of ways to detect and remove stones, many of these existing methods can be painful for patients and even require hospital recovery time.
Rather than using traditional invasive procedures to locate and remove stones, Dr. Fuchs has developed a procedure that involves locating kidney stones by using imaging technology.
Though the procedure involves putting the patient under general anesthesia, Dr. Fuchs and Dr. Bhadwaj use images of the kidney and laser treatment to locate and remove stones quickly and efficiently with no hospital stay required. Patients go home the very same day.
This new procedure also allows for a small laser incision to be made in the membrane around the papilla. This region of the kidney, where stones are thought to originate, is typically difficult to reach. However, with laser and imaging technology, Dr. Fuchs and Dr. Bhadwaj are able to thoroughly locate and extract stones from this challenging region of the kidney.
This groundbreaking procedure has over ten successful cases to date with good outcomes and is only being performed at Sierra View Medical Center.