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BJU Int. 2011 Nov;108 Suppl 2:29-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10695.x.

Evolution of stone management in Australia.

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Department of Urology, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? There is very little contemporary data regarding stone management in Australia. This study assesses the impact of technological advances on stone management practises, and raises questions as to why there is an increasing rate of intervention for stone disease in Australia. Knowledge of management trends as demonstrated in this paper give individual surgeons a guideline for contemporary practise in this country.


• To examine trends in the operative management of upper urinary tract stone disease in Australia over the past 15 years.


• The Medicare Australia and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare databases were used to determine the annual number of renal colic presentations and procedural interventions undertaken for stone disease.


• In Australia over the past 15 years, the annual number of procedural interventions for upper urinary tract stones has increased, primarily due to the rising number of endoscopic procedures performed. • During this period, shock wave lithotripsy numbers have remained steady whilst open and percutaneous procedures have been in decline.


• The introduction of and subsequent preference for less invasive techniques has changed the management pathway of patients presenting with stone disease in Australia. • Further studies are necessary to determine whether this escalation in endoscopic procedures is due to an increase in the incidence of stone disease, earlier detection, a lower intervention threshold or a higher retreatment rate.

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