Many Stone Patients May Not See Urologist After ERLast Updated: June 19, 2009. Many patients visiting an emergency department with ureterolithiasis may not follow up with a urologist, according to research published in the June issue of Urology.
FRIDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients visiting an emergency department with ureterolithiasis may not follow up with a urologist, according to research published in the June issue of Urology.
Samuel P. Sterrett, D.O., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues analyzed data from 130 patients diagnosed with ureterolithiasis in an emergency department during a two-year period. All were experiencing their first stone and none had had recent urological visits.
The researchers found that 14 patients received immediate urological consultation, with nine requiring surgery. Of the 116 discharged without urological consultation, 61 percent followed up with a urologist, 23 percent followed up with a primary care physician, 9 percent came back to the emergency department for initial follow-up, and 7 percent did not have follow-up. The authors also note that, of patients with ureterolithiasis 5 millimeters or greater, 86 percent had urological consultation at their emergency department visit or followed up with a urologist.
"Although the economic burden might be greater had every patient been seen by a urologist after discharge, the economic toll might be even greater should disease persistence be present, disease recurrence develop, and/or loss of renal function occur. Prevention is just as important as diagnosis and treatment, and the urologist should play a key part in this process. This, obviously, is much harder to do if noncompliance with follow-up evaluations and recommendations occurs," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.
A co-author of the study is a consultant for Cook Urological Inc.
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