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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > West Cumberland Hospital's new surgery a success

West Cumberland Hospital's new surgery a success

Posted on Wednesday 14th December 2016

A non-invasive surgery that was introduced at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven (WCH) last year has received top marks from North Cumbria patients.

Lithotripsy - a non-invasive surgery for urology patients - is the destruction of stones by pressure waves. Waves are focused onto the stone with the use of Ultrasound and X-Rays. The pressure waves travel through the body tissues without damaging them, and reduce the stone to fine gravel which may then be passed naturally in urine over a period of time, usually with no pain. Lithotripsy has transformed the treatment of stones since its development in the early 1980’s, where previously a major ‘open’ operation may have been necessary.

The service has been running for 10 months as a new service at WCH, and is only available for North Cumbria patients in Whitehaven. Almost 100 patients have had the procedure since the service it launched. Previously, patients would have received this treatment at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

In a recent survey conducted on lithotripsy patients, 100% of people said they were satisfied with the care and treatment received from medical staff and their radiographer. 94% of patients were satisfied with the overall service and one patient stated: “Service was brilliant, staff could not do enough before and after treatment, very helpful.”

The service is part of efforts to bring more surgical procedures into WCH.

Mr Nkem Umez-Eronini, consultant urologist surgeon, said: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to bring this procedure to patients locally, and save them travelling further afield. Patients continuously tell us about the difference lithotripsy has brought to their lives, and how satisfied they are with their care, and I’d like to thank all the staff involved in making this new service a success.”