Padre Steve Gets Adolf the Kidney Stone Removed: Musings on Laser Lithotripsy

Adolf Von Grosse Schmertzen will see his last sunrise in the morning, or whatever he can view from where he is at in the ureter.  Whatever, since he has stayed in his bunker and made my life miserable for the past two weeks he will not get to stay intact as a reward for leaving.  Instead he is going to get blasted to pieces by the latest and greatest in Kidney Stone breaker-upper technology, the Laser Lithotripsy using a holmium laser mounted in a endoscope.

This procedure is replacing the older method of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy as the standard of care in treating bastards like Adolf.  The older method was less invasive and used shock waves generated outside the body to break up the stone. The new method which according to the literature is “minimally invasive” involves passing the endoscope up the pee-pee thru the bladder and into the tunnel, the ureter, between the bladder and kidney where Adolf is dug into, sort of like his namesake who did the same in a Berlin Bunker back in 1945.  When the endoscope reaches Adolf the Urologist will direct a “laser” beam into Adolf “vaporizing the stone.”

Evidently there is no stone that has been able to withstand this high tech assault and the remnants of Adolf will be flushed into to sewer of history.  The success rate for this procedure is in the 90-95 percent rate according to the literature which means that for me there is a 50-50 chance of success though only a ten percent chance of that.  My assumption as to why this has replaced extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is that for the Urologist it is much more like imitating Luke Skywalker when he blasts the Death Star or playing the video game Asteroids.

Now I will go in tomorrow and be prepped for the procedure, I report at 815 and am told that it will be an hour or two until the procedure will begin.  Usually the preparation involves placing an IV, placing monitor equipment and asking lots of questions.  The one question I hope they ask if I have any special religious needs.  If they do I will ask if the have a live chicken, a sharp knife and an altar with candles and a shot of rum.  I am told that I will go under “General Anesthesia” which I imagine as being forced to watch a very boring Army General giving a briefing on power point to his subordinates.  Since I have slept through a few of those I image that this will be the case again.

Today I got a call from the Ambulatory Procedure Unit where I will be prepared for battle and then taken to the Operating Room, or the O.R. as medical professionals call it.  My Urologist says that the procedure could take up to three hours but that he expects that it will be done sooner than that. I do hope so because I need to wake up fast after the briefing of the boring General so that I can get home and then top off the day at Stein Club appreciation night at Gordon Biersch…yes, I know I’ve heard that you are not supposed to have alcohol after being under anesthesia but it won’t be like I will be having a beer in post-op, they don’t have any good beer there but I digress.

Today Adolf obviously sensing that his time is short has been giving me a lot of pain even with the Vicodin on board.  I cannot eat or drink anything after midnight so I’d better finish this so I can eat something to go with my last dose of Vicodin.  Providing nothing goes wrong I expect to be writing of my experiences tomorrow night, inshallah.

Of course my mind drifts to great medical films like Robin Cook’s Coma and certain episodes of House, M*A*S*H, Scrubs, the X-Files and the “Junior Mint” episode of Seinfeld which I find very comforting when facing surgery.

Pray for me a sinner,


Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under healthcare

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s