OBJECTIVE: To compare the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with residual fragments after surgical intervention for kidney stones to patients that are stone-free using the disease-specific Wisconsin stone quality of life (WISQOL) questionnaire. Kidney stones contribute to impaired HRQOL, which is increasingly recognized as an important healthcare outcome measurement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: With institutional review board approval, 313 adult patients who underwent surgical intervention for kidney stones at 4 sites completed a WISQOL questionnaire. We retrospectively collected surgical data including presence of residual fragments on post-operative imaging. We calculated standardized WISQOL total and domain scores (0-100), which included items related to social functioning (D1), emotional functioning (D2), stone-related impact (D3), and vitality (D4). Scores were compared between patients with residual fragments to those who were stone-free after surgical intervention. RESULTS: Demographics did not differ between groups, overall mean age 54.6 ± 13.5 and 55.4% female. There was no significant difference in total WISQOL score for patients with residual fragments (n = 124) compared to patients that were stone-free (n = 189), 110.5 ± 27.8 vs 115.4 ± 23.6 respectively, (P =.12). Interestingly, patients with residual fragments who underwent secondary surgery were found to have significantly lower total WISQOL score (88.4 ± 30.1 vs 116.6 ± 25.0, P <.0001). CONCLUSION: Stone-free status after surgical intervention is not associated with better HRQOL when compared with patients whose surgeries left residual fragments. Indeed, further surgical intervention on residual fragments to achieve stone-free status may actually result in worse HRQOL.
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