Geographical variation in the management of urolithiasis in Australia
Upper urinary tract stone disease remains a common health problem in Australia with an increasing incidence and overall number of stone treatments in Australia.1 The management of urinary tract stone disease in Australia has evolved significantly in the last three decades following the introduction of percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) and ureteroscopy (URS). Currently, minimally invasive surgical techniques such as SWL and URS are recognized as appropriate first‐line treatment options for ureteric stones.1 We have previously demonstrated the emergence of URS as the most popular treatment option for upper tract stones in Australia over the past decade.1
Determining the appropriate treatment modality for urinary calculi depends on a variety of factors including patient characteristics, stone composition, stone size and stone location.2 Australia is a geographically large country with a vast number of rural and remote communities. The accessibility of urological surgeons as well as the treatment modalities available in the location where the patient presents may also influence the choice in stone treatment.
The main objective of this study is to examine any geographical variation in stone treatment amongst the Australian states and territories.