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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2004 March;56(1):33-48

language: English

Advances in the surgical management of nephrolithiasis

Marguet C. G. 1, Springhart W. P. 1, Auge B. K. 2, Preminger G. M. 1

1 The Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center The Division of Urology, Department of Surgery Duke University Medical Center Durham, North Carolina, USA
2 Naval Medical Center San Diego, California, USA


The surgical management of urinary calculus disease has undergone a dramatic evolution over the past 2 decades. Twenty years ago, open surgical procedures for urinary calculi were some of the most frequently performed urologic procedures. Since then, however, stone management has been at the forefront of “minimally invasive” intervention. Specifically, the initiation and refinement of percutaneous and ureteroscopic access to the upper tracts, along with the rapid and nearly simultaneous development of both extracorporeal and intracorporeal lithotripsy techniques, has limited the role of open surgery to less than 1% of patients undergoing intervention for their stone disease. This manuscript will review the current indications for the surgical management of urinary calculi, the basic physics of the most frequently utilized vehicles for both extracorporeal and intracorporeal lithotripsy, and the respective roles of extracorporeal and intracorporeal lithotripsy with percutaneous or ureteroscopic access and open surgery. In addition, the results and complications associated with each of these forms of intervention will be reviewed. Finally, a discussion of specific clinical challenges to the urologist will be presented.

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