| By Rupert Howell
Tri-Lakes Medical Center is now offering the latest treatment for kidney stones according to the facility’s management.
Did you know you’re living in the "Stone Belt?"
Whether you do or not, you need to know that Tri-Lakes Medical Center is now offering Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), or shock wave treatment for kidney stones.
What makes our area the Stone Belt?
Urologist Dr. Denis Yalkut says the answer is probably multi-faceted and may include: climate, heat, learned behavior and genetics.
Pain from kidney stones in a male has been compared to pain associated with childbirth (although no one can document this who is qualified to make the comparison).
Tri-Lakes began offering the non-invasive procedure Tuesday, October 3 according to Director of Surgical Services Michelle Gentry.
Gentry added that the entire procedure should take less than four hours and is "the first of many new procedures to be offered at Tri-Lakes."
Tri-Lakes CEO Ray Shoemaker estimated that the facility was referring up to 100 patients annually to other facilities such as those in Oxford and Southaven. These patients can now be treated locally.
Dr. Yalkut said the patient-friendly procedure is economical if it works, explaining that due to different types of kidney stones, "it doesn’t always work."
Due to the "patient friendly" nature of the procedure and the severity of the symptoms of kidney stones, it is a logical first step.
Yalkut served his residency at the University Medical Center in Jackson before becoming assistant professor of urology at the University of Kentucky. He noted that the local medical center now offers full service urology treatments with the local facility offering the procedure each Tuesday and Thursday.
He says other methods of removing kidney stones can also be used, including laparoscopy (small holes through the abdomen) and endoscopy which uses natural channels of the body without cuts.