A 10-year experience of managing ureteric calculi: Changing trends towards endourological intervention: Is there a role for open surgery?

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Objectives: To study changing practices in the management of ureterolithiasis with the introduction of newer technologies, the efficacy and safety of endourology, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) and open surgery, and to determine if any indication remains for open ureterolithotomy in a tertiary endourology unit.
Patients and Methods: A 12-year retrospective review (1987-1998) was conducted of all primary ureteric stones treated by ESWL, endoscopy, intracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ISWL) administered via ureteroscopy, and open surgery.
Results: In all, 1195 patients were treated for primary ureteric stones, 44% by ESWL, 37% by ureteroscopy and ISWL, and 20% by open surgery. At the 3-month follow-up the stone-free rates for ESWL monotherapy, ureteroscopy and open surgery were 95%, 85% and 97%, giving an efficiency quotient of 73%, 64% and 94%, respectively. The overall complication rate for ESWL was 13%, for ISWL 32% and for open surgery 13%, but the complications of open surgery were often serious and potentially life-threatening.
Conclusions: With recent advances in endourology the indications for open surgery have decreased considerably, from 26% in 1987-95 to 8% in 1996-98. However, the remaining indications for open ureterolithotomy include failure of less invasive modalities, the presence of medical/anatomical abnormalities, a concomitant open procedure, and the presence of large impacted calculi for which patients prefer to avoid multiple procedures.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BJU International