Safety and Outcome of Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy in the Elderly: Retrospective Comparison to a Younger Patient Group
Aim: To evaluate whether the overall safety and efficacy profile of percutaneous surgery for urinary stone disease in older (> 70 years) patients might influence the decision for the procedure in the elderly. Materials and Methods: A large database was created from our patients (n = 1058) who underwent percutaneous surgery for stone disease between 1991 and 2003 in the Scottish Lithotriptor Centre, including clinical and operation details for each case. Only percutaneous nephrolithotomy cases with full details were studied (n = 779) and were grouped into two age groups: (1) between 17 and 69 years and (2) over 70 years. Statistical analysis evaluated differences in terms of operation-related adverse events, stone-free success rates, and clinical success rates (including stone-free cases and cases with residual fragments < 4 mm). Further analysis was performed for the same endpoints after stratification of the patients by (1) previous stone procedures and (2) special clinical features. Results: In the overall database, no statistically important differences were found between the two groups in terms of stone burden before surgery, adverse events rates, complete stone-free rates, and clinical success rates. However, a statistical trend toward higher clinical success rates in favor of the younger group was seen (P = 0.051). Stratification of our database according to previous stone disease procedures or special clinical or anatomic characteristics has only shown a statistically important difference for clinical success rates in favor of the older group without special features (P = 0.01). Conclusion: In experienced hands, age-related morbidity or age itself should not be a discouraging consideration when deciding on performing percutaneous nephrolithotomy, as the procedure is as equally feasible and safe in the elderly as in the younger patient population.