The purpose of this study is to evaluate outcomes of an established procedure for treatment of kidney stones that are present within the inner aspect of the kidney. This procedure is called flexible ureteroscopy, which involves placing a small camera through the urethra while anesthetized (asleep), up the ureter (the tube connecting kidney and bladder) and into the kidney to the kidney stone. Then, the stone is broken into tiny fragments using a small laser called a Holmium laser. While this treatment is a well-established option for treatment of these stones, there are several different techniques used to help eliminate them from the kidney. Some urologists treat the stone by a method called "active" extraction whereby the ureteroscope is passed back and forth into the kidney to remove all visible stone fragments. Others use a method called "dusting" whereby the stones are broken into tiny fragments or "dust" with the intention that achieving such a small stone size will allow the stones to pass spontaneously. There has not been a systematic and rigorous comparison of these techniques in terms of treatment outcomes. By collecting information on the success of treatment, the investigators hope to provide benchmark data for future studies of kidney stone treatment and improve the care of all patients who need surgery for their kidney stones.
The investigators hypothesize that the stone free rate for renal stone(s) 5-15 mm is around 90% and that the stone clearance rate with be 20% higher in those patients that undergo complete stone fragment extraction versus those that undergo stone dusting (residual fragments < 2mm).
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