A Birmingham hospital is treating painful kidney stones with a new state-of-the-art laser which can break down the deposits into tiny pieces.
University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has spent £45,000 on the holium laser which targets laser waves at the small stones reducing them to fragments which can be "flushed out" without any surgery.
Half of all patients admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's urology department have suspected kidney stones.
Consultant Urologist Zaki Almallah said: "Kidney stones are extremely distressing for patients, many of whom have compared the pain with labour pain.
"We want to be able to treat them as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
"However, it is not possible to access some parts of the kidney using endoscopy - keyhole surgery.
"Laser surgery is very sophisticated and accurate, enabling us to reach any part of the kidney where kidney stones develop."
Kidney stones consist of condensed deposits of calcium, magnesium and phosphate, which are caused by an imbalance of salts in the kidneys.