Surgeons have praised a new £400,000 treatment device which has slashed waiting times across the north-east.
Lithotripsy equipment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is successfully saving hours of time for medical staff every month.
The north-east board’s Endowment Fund funded the service, which supports patients suffering from kidney stones.
It has been used to treat more than 170 patients in the last six months.
Prior to the launch of the service, clinicians relied on a touring mobile service that visited the hospital every six weeks – meaning that patients faced extremely unpredictable treatment times.
Urology consultant, Dr Ismail Mokademm explained there “wasn’t much flexiblity” with the previous system.
He said: “Patients received treatment then it could be three months before the next session.
“Now we treat the patients and we can see if the stone hasn’t responded and get them another session sooner, rather than waiting on another visit by the touring lithotripsy.
“The introduction of the onsite lithotripsy service has tripled our capacity to treat patients with stone disease with one of the least invasive techniques available.
“As more and more patients are treated in the lithotripsy suite, this has freed more theatre time and capacity to treat other urological conditions.
“It has made a huge difference and we’re so incredibly grateful to the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund for allowing us to purchase this fantastic piece of equipment.”
Sheena Lonchay, manager of the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, added she was “delighted the charity has been able to support the project”.
She said: “We exist to benefit patients in ways that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible and that is exactly what this system does.”