Special Instrumentation - Laser

Though the primary role of lasers in urology has always been in the treatment of urolithiasis, there are several other indications for their use. There are many different types of lasers currently available, each with unique properties conducive to treating certain disorders. As such, it is critical that today's urologist understands each laser's characteristics in order to optimize patient selection and treatment. The lasers which are primarily used in urologic applications include the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser; the Neodymium:Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Nd:YAG); the Potassium Titanyl Phosphate (KTP) laser and the Holmium:YAG (Ho:YAG) laser. This review focuses on the unique characteristics of each of these lasers as well as the instrumentation needed utilize and deploy these tools in the urinary tract.