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J Urol. 2011 Jan;185(1):192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2010.08.081. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

Multi-institutional assessment of ureteroscopic laser papillotomy for chronic flank pain associated with papillary calcifications.

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Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



We evaluated the long-term safety, efficacy and durability of ureteroscopic laser papillotomy for chronic flank pain associated with renal papillary calcifications.


We reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent ureteroscopic laser papillotomy in the absence of free urinary calculi at our institutions from 1998 through 2008. Success was defined as patient report of significant pain relief. The duration of response was considered the time from papillotomy to repeat papillotomy in the same renal unit, patient report of recurrent pain or final followup.


Ureteroscopic Ho:YAG laser papillotomy was done a total of 176 times in 65 patients, including 147 unilateral and 29 bilateral procedures. Of the patients 39 underwent multiple procedures (2 to 12). Symptomatic followup was available in 50 patients (146 procedures) during a mean of 38 months. Significantly less pain was reported after 121 procedures (83%). The mean duration of response per procedure was 26 months and 30 patients (60%) had a mean remission duration of greater than 1 year. Postoperatively hospital admission was required after 14 procedures (8%). There was no significant change in the mean estimated glomerular filtration rate during a mean 41.3-month followup. Seven of the 65 patients (11%) had hypertension before papillotomy. In 3 of the 49 patients (6.1%) with adequate followup new hypertension developed during a mean of 38 months.


Ureteroscopic laser papillotomy is safe and effective. In patients with papillary calcifications and characteristic chronic, noncolicky pain this procedure provides significant, moderately durable symptom relief.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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