Management of large kidney stones in the geriatric population

Alison E. Schulz, Benjamin W. Green, Kavita Gupta, Rutul D. Patel, Justin Loloi, Dima Raskolnikov, Kara L. Watts, Alexander C. Small

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this review is to highlight the unique factors that predispose geriatric patients to nephrolithiasis and to compare the utility and efficacy of surgical techniques in this specific patient population. Methods: PubMed and EMBASE databases were reviewed, and studies were organized according to surgical treatments. Results: Few prospective studies exist comparing kidney stone removal in the elderly to younger cohorts. In addition, various age cut-offs were used to determine who was considered elderly. Most studies which analyzed Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) found a slightly higher rate of minor complications but comparable stone free rate and operative time. For ureteroscopy (URS) and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL), there were minimal complications observed and no difference in clinical success in the elderly. All surgical techniques were presumed to be safe in the elderly and most found no difference in stone-free rates. Conclusions: Unique attributes of the geriatric population contribute to stone formation and must be considered when determining appropriate management modalities. This review provides an overview of the utility and efficacy of PCNL, URS and ESWL in the elderly, as well as a porposed algorithm for management in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-992
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Elderly
  • Geriatric
  • Kidney stones
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Staghorn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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