New Holmium Laser Helps Patients with Kidney, Bladder and Ureteral Stones

  • 1/28/2013

Holmium laser
Holmium laser

Brookings Health System of Brookings, SD, recently added a new holmium laser to its surgical unit to help treat patients with kidney, bladder and ureteral stones. Urologists from Urology Specialists of Sioux Falls will begin performing same-day holmium laser lithotripsy at Brookings Health System on Feb. 1.

“Because the holmium laser is the cornerstone in surgical management of kidney stones, previously Brookings area patients had to travel to Sioux Falls to have this procedure,” said CEO and President Jason Merkley. “By adding the availability of laser treatments to our services, we’re able to save most patients a long commute while using the same technology that would otherwise be performed by an urologist in Sioux Falls.”

The procedure is typically performed when a patient is unable to pass a stone on his or her own and experiences discomfort and pain.

“Holmium laser lithotripsy provides many benefits to patients, including immediate relief of symptoms and a quick recovery,” said Brookings Health System Operating Room and CSR Director Candace Johnson. “In most cases, patients will go home the same day. The holmium laser works on all stone types and has greater than a 95% success rate with a single treatment.”

Laser lithotripsy uses a flexible laser fiber inserted into a scope through the urethra to the stone located in the bladder, ureter or kidney. When the laser is activated, the laser beam breaks up the stone into smaller sizes capable of being passed.

No incisions are necessary to treat a patient using the holmium laser. General anesthesia is used to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure.

Referral for the procedure is required. Patients who experience problems with kidney, bladder or ureteral stones should first visit with their primary care provider or go to the emergency room if warranted.

Brookings Health System’s surgical services offers a full range of inpatient, outpatient (same-day surgery), and emergency surgical treatments provided by skilled surgeons and professional support staff. To learn more about Brookings Health System’s surgical services, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at