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Heurteloup's Percussion Lithotrite

Hit it with a hammer ...

Baron Charles Louis Stanislas Heurteloup (1793 -1844) was the first person to practice lithotrity in England. In 1829, he set up practice with the support of Anthony White, surgeon to Westminster Hospital.

Whilst operating on a clergyman in Sanderstead, Heurteloup decided to strike the end of his lithotrite instead of drilling.

He described this "percuteur courbe à marteau" in 1832. To protect the bladder, the patient was positioned on a specially made table (design pictured below) and the lithotrite was stabilised in a vice connected to one end.

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Once the instrument is in the bladder, the stone is grasped in the jaws (above) and the end of the instrument is hit with a hammer to fragment the stone. Despite the earlier-described crushing lithotrites, Heurteloup’s percussor was the most popular in the early years of lithotrity.

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