Mini Perc – the way of the future

Recently at Epworth Freemasons, urology surgeon Associate Professor David Webb employed the latest technology – a miniaturised telescope known as the “Mini Perc” – to remove kidney stones from two patients with rare, recurrent stones from a congenital metabolic condition.

Their condition, cystineurea, results in stones formed by amino acids which recur, are painful and cannot be treated by shock wave lithotripsy. Since childhood they have both had multiple surgeries.

“Both patients were delighted they could receive a single treatment instead of having more, including a stent in the ureter which is an uncomfortable accompaniment of conventional ureteric stones,” Prof Webb said.

“The Mini Perc, which is modelled on the conventional Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy enables kidney stones to be removed from a 3-4mm hole in the kidney, is less invasive and traumatic than when using conventional instruments. It is ideal for smaller stones – the conventional instruments still being reserved for larger stones. The miniaturisation and development of these sophisticated instruments comes from Germany, and has been extensively used in India.”

Associate Professor David Webb has been involved in the development of conventional key-hole surgery of the kidney and particularly in children, since the 1980s in both Europe and Australia. He is the first to use the Mini Perc in Australia and believes it enables a very cheap, cost effective and atraumatic way to remove small stones in a single procedure. For patients and hospitals, this means a one day case instead of the current two or three admissions and multiple procedures using more expensive, disposable equipment.

“I have also used the Mini Perc for access to kidneys where the entry portal has been too small for the conventional instruments, as well as to supplement removal of small stones in the presence of very large kidney stones.”

Currently, Epworth Freemasons is one of the few hospitals in Australia to have this equipment, thanks to a very generous donor to the Epworth Medical Foundation.

David Webb at Austin HospitalAssociate Professor David Webb, Assoc. Professor of Surgery University of Melbourne.
Associate Professor David Webb is a urologist at Epworth Freemasons. He has a special interest in prostate cancer biopsy, Robotic (da Vinci) prostatectomy, vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), and lithotripsy – renal ureteric calculi.