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Purpose: To assess disease-specific and health-related QoL, anxiety and depression as well as satisfaction regarding retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) and miniaturized percutaneous nephrolithotomy (mPCNL) intervention for kidney stones up to 2.5 cm. Secondarily, pain as well as perioperative and postoperative patient outcomes were evaluated.
Methods: 60 consecutive patients with kidney stones of dimensions not exceeding 2.5 cm were enrolled in the study of which 30 underwent RIRS and 30 mPCNL. Perioperative characteristics (age, gender, body mass index (BMI), stone side and size, previous interventions for kidney stones and duration of hospitalization) and surgical outcomes (hemoglobin drop, stone-free rate, visual analogue scale (VAS), stenting time, size of ureteral access sheath (UAS) deployment, and postoperative complications) of patients were collected. Quality of life and psychological outcomes were evaluated using validated questionnaires.
Results: No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of age, gender, BMI, stone side and size (p > 0.05). Significant differences between the mPCNL and the RIRS groups were found regarding stenting time (p = 0.032) and duration of hospital stay (p < 0.001). The stone-free rates of mPCNL vs RIRS were not significantly different between the two groups (73.3% vs 66.7%, p > 0.05). Peri- and postoperative complications were not statistically different between the two groups (p > 0.05). RIRS group reported higher anxiety and depression scores compared with the mPCNL group (3 [range 0-15] vs 15 [range 6-24], p < 0.01). We found significant differences between the two groups in social (p < 0.05) and vitality (p < 0.01) scores. VAS pain score was significantly lower in the mPCNL group than in the RIRS one (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: These results open new scenarios in the treatment of kidney stones up to 2.5 cm when RIRS and mPCNL have interchangeable indications. Since in our experience complications and success rate are similar, the surgical choice of switching from RIRS to mPCNL in real-time and viceversa may be proposed to the patient in the preoperative counseling.