The history of mobile shock wave lithotripsy

Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) has been one of the most innovative therapy procedures in urology over the last decades. During the first few years, however, small hospitals could not afford to purchase a lithotripter owing to its high cost. This explains why ever since the pioneering days of SWL there has been a demand for mobile lithotripsy to make this revolutionary technology more easily available also in remote regions.

In the early period of mobile lithotripsy, the entire therapy system was installed on a truck, which was then used as a treatment room on wheels outside the hospital. Over the years there has been a growing trend towards transportable lithotripsy systems which are transported to the respective clinic or hospital by truck and then set up in the on-site treatment room.

Having fully understood the requirements of mobile shock wave treatment providers from the very beginning, STORZ MEDICAL has developed lithotripters designed specifically for mobile use. Moreover, STORZ MEDICAL is the only manufacturer offering a mobile version of a high-end lithotripter, the MODULITH® SLX-F2. This system reaches the highest penetration depth of all devices in the market and offers two user-selectable focal sizes.

In the United States, over 200 STORZ MEDICAL lithotripters are used for mobile SWL every day. The MODULITH® SLX-F2 and the MODULITH® SLX are the most popular lithotripters on the North American market. Trucks equipped with special air-conditioned superstructures for lithotripters, C-arcs and ultrasound systems travel across the continent to the remotest parts of the country.

The system design with integrated patient table reduces the number of components that need to be moved in and out of the hospital, thus reducing set-up and take-down times.

The Scandinavian countries with their long distances between cities have a strong demand for mobile lithotripsy solutions to provide adequate healthcare even in rural areas. Denmark-based MLS Medical AS has several MODULITH® SLK »classic« devices in use and transports them by truck all over Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. In 2011, their systems travelled a total of 250,000 kilometres and treated 2,872 stones! The equipment offered by MLS is on the road every day and operated in over 308 different locations. So needless to say that high reliability is a must!

The latest addition to the STORZ MEDICAL lithotripter family is the MODULITH® SLK »inline«. Its mobile version has been launched only recently. Thanks to the convincing design, one of these innovative systems has already been purchased by a Thailand-based provider of mobile lithotripsy services.

Olaf Gleibe



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Tuesday, September 22 2020

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