Not that long ago if a patient had a small bladder stone the urologist would place through a cystoscope an instrument that would crush the stone into small pieces and then irrigate out the stone. If the stone was larger then it often times required an incision to open the bladder to manually remove the stone.
Today using a laser the stone can most often be fragmented safely without damaging the bladder mucosa and then irrigated free.
As seen above a relatively small stone is fragmented into very small pieces and then irrigated out without any bleeding or need for a catheter.
This procedure was done in our ambulatory surgery center and as an out patient. So in this case “the laser” has made a large impact on the convenience, cost, and safety of the patient with a bladder stone.