Urinary calculi in aviation pilots: what is the best therapeutic approach?
PURPOSE: We reviewed treatment outcomes in a series of aviation pilots treated in the era of modern surgical techniques and provide recommendations regarding treatment in this unique group. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the records of all aviation pilots surgically treated for urinary calculi at our 4 tertiary stone centers from January 1988 to June 2000. Preoperative data and postoperative results were evaluated. Primary outcome measures included stone-free status after initial therapy, time lost from work and overall stone-free rates. Secondary outcome measures included the need for secondary procedures and complications. RESULTS: Of the 36 patients 17 had renal and 19 had ureteral stones. In 4 patients the stones passed spontaneously, while 17 were initially treated with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) (Dornier Medical Systems, Marietta, Georgia), 9 were initially treated with ureteroscopy and 6 were treated with percutaneous nephrolithotripsy. There was 1 complication. The stone-free rate for ESWL, percutaneous nephrolithotripsy and ureteroscopy after initial therapy was 35%, 100% and 100%, respectively. All patients were rendered stone-free after secondary therapy. Mean time lost from work for ESWL, percutaneous nephrolithotripsy and ureteroscopy was 4.7, 2.6 and 1.6 weeks, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Aviation pilots with surgical urolithiasis are best treated with an initial endoscopic procedure. Stone-free rates can be maximized, while time lost from work can be minimized when an endoscopic approach is used initially. All pilots with urolithiasis should undergo mandatory metabolic evaluations to institute medical therapy when indicated.
Zheng, W; Beiko, DT; Segura, JW; Preminger, GM; Albala, DM; Denstedt, JD
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