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Lithotripter with locating system integrated therewith and method for its use

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #4834106.

A lithotripter for disintegrating a calculus in the body of a patient has a shock wave source which emits shock wave pulses which are focussed to the calculus by an acoustic lens. As seen in the propagation direction of the shock wave pulses, a semi-transmissive acoustic mirror is disposed in front of the acoustic lens at a fixed angle. An ultrasound transducer, which is part of an ultrasound locating system, such as an ultrasound sector scanner, is disposed laterally with respect to the acoustic mirror, so that ultrasound waves are transmitted by the transducer to the calculus, and the reflected waves are transmitted from the calculus to the transducer, reflected by the acoustic mirror. Shock wave pulses from the shock wave source are only minimally impeded by the mirror, so that the therapy is substantially uninfluenced by the presence of the mirror. The ultrasound signals are used to identify the position of the calculus in the patient, so that the position can be continuously observed, even during the time in which the shock pulses are acting on the calculus. The approach path of the shock wave pulse to the calculus can also be ultrasonically monitored.

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