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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 19:47 GMT
Hospital welcomes kidney treatment
Treatment for kidney stones
The treatment is painless
A Suffolk hospital has declared a success its trial of a method of treating kidney stones without surgery.

The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has taken loan of a lithotripter, which focuses sound waves onto the kidney stones and causes them to disintegrate.

Previously patients had to travel elsewhere for the treatment, which does not require an overnight stay in hospital.

James Allan, consultant urologist, said: "Kidney stones are a common condition and can be extremely painful, and using a lithotripter is usually by far the best way of getting rid of them."

Inconvenient travel

He said the method, introduced at the hospital a month ago, was helping reduce waiting lists.

"Today we have got 12 patients coming through for treatment which otherwise they would have had to travel somewhere else for, at great inconvenience to them and their families.

"Or they would have had to be inpatients for an inappropriate treatment using a bed that could be better used by someone else with a different condition such as bladder cancer."

The hospital now hopes it can club together with others in the region to buy the machine.

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