Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Complications from kidney stone treatments are common, costly

Date:
April 28, 2014
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Despite their overall low risk, procedures to treat kidney stones lead to complications that require hospitalization or emergency care for one in seven patients, according to researchers. These complications are costly. When complications occurred, they were least common following shock wave lithotripsy. Those treated with ureteroscopy, the second most common procedure, had slightly more unplanned visits, with 15 percent of patients.

Despite their overall low risk, procedures to treat kidney stones lead to complications that require hospitalization or emergency care for one in seven patients, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

These complications are costly. Patients who have an unplanned visit face an average cost of nearly $30,000, depending on the type of procedure and the subsequent care.

"Our findings provide a good starting point to understand why these complications are happening and how they can be prevented, because the costs to patients who suffer complications and to the health care system are substantial," said lead author Charles D. Scales Jr., M.D., assistant professor of surgery at Duke.

Scales and colleagues, publishing April 28, 2014, in the journal Surgery, analyzed the outcomes of more than 93,000 privately insured patients who underwent treatment for kidney stones. Procedures included shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy -- the main interventions generating an estimated $10 billion annual tab for kidney stone disease in the United States.

The researchers included emergency department visits or hospital admissions within 30 days of the original procedure -- a longer window of observation than had previously been studied.

According to the analysis, patients who had their surgery at hospitals that did high volumes of the procedure were much less likely to have complications.

When complications occurred, they were least common following shock wave lithotripsy, affecting 12 percent of patients. Those treated with ureteroscopy, the second most common procedure, had slightly more unplanned visits, with 15 percent of patients. Shock wave lithotripsy, however, had the higher costs associated with the emergency visits, at more than $32,000.

Costs for complications of nephrolithotomy were highest, averaging over $47,000 when an unplanned visit occurred.

Scales said further research is needed to understand why the different procedures resulted in different complication rates and costs, but noted that patients may be unprepared for complications arising from minimally invasive treatments.

"From the patient perspective, an unplanned emergency department visit or hospital admission after a low-risk ambulatory procedure is a significant event," Scales said. "Kidney stones are excruciatingly painful and primarily affect people who are of working age. These patients face not only the cost of treatment, but also the financial difficulties from time off work due to pain and treatment."

Scales said the public policy implications are also important, particularly in the current environment in which health costs are increasingly scrutinized.

"Reducing unplanned emergency visits and hospitalizations associated with kidney stone treatments could result in significant cost savings if the causes can be identified and addressed," Scales said.

He said understanding why complications occur and how they can be avoided will be important next steps.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charles D. Scales, Christopher S. Saigal, Janet M. Hanley, Andrew W. Dick, Claude M. Setodji, Mark S. Litwin. The impact of unplanned postprocedure visits in the management of patients with urinary stones. Surgery, 2014; 155 (5): 769 DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.12.013

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Complications from kidney stone treatments are common, costly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094257.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2014, April 28). Complications from kidney stone treatments are common, costly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094257.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Complications from kidney stone treatments are common, costly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428094257.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins