Yonsei Med J.  2020 Jun;61(6):515-523. 10.3349/ymj.2020.61.6.515.

Does Early Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery Improve the Cost-Effectiveness of Renal Stone Management?

  • 1School of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea
  • 2Department of Urology, Wonkwang University Sanbon Hospital, Wonkwang University College of Medicine, Gunpo, Korea
  • 3Department of Urology, Severance Hospital, Urological Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Nursing Science, College of Nursing, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea


This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of treatment with retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) versus repeated shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) in patients with renal calculi.
Materials and Methods
The non-retreatment rates (NRRs) and their respective real-world costs for RIRS and SWL were derived through retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data from 2015 to 2017. Decision tree modeling was performed to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of RIRS. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis was performed to examine the robustness of the results.
Analysis of the obtained data showed that NRRs of single SWL ranged from 46% to 56%, whereas NRRs of single RIRS ranged from 75% to 93%. Introducing RIRS early in the treatment sequence was observed to be favorable for the reduction of overall failure (overall NRR, 0.997) compared to the results of repeated SWL (overall NRR, 0.928). The implementation of decision tree modeling revealed that the cost per retreatment-avoided increased with the introduction of RIRS at an earlier time (first line, second line, third line, fourth line: 18640 USD, 10376 USD, 4294 USD, 3377 USD, respectively). Probabilistic modeling also indicated that the introduction of RIRS as the first line of treatment was least likely to be cost-effective, when compared to other options of introducing RIRS as the second, third, or fourth line of treatment.
Performing RIRS as early as possible


Lithotripsy; urology; cost-benefit analysis; kidney calculi
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