Purpose: We created an Internet-based survey of patients treated for urolithiasis to evaluate for trends in treatment, outcome, and patient satisfaction and to establish internet surveys as a feasible medium for future research of patient urolithiasis treatment experiences. Materials and Methods: We used the website "kidneystoners.org" to disseminate the online survey, which queried respondents on treatment type, outcome, and satisfaction. Patient satisfaction was correlated with treatment type and outcome. Chi-square and analysis of variance tests were used to compare responses between treatment types. Results: Four hundred forty-three respondents completed the survey. The majority (46%) were treated ureteroscopically, followed by extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (SWL, 25%) and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (7%). Other treatments included spontaneous passage (13%), medical expulsive therapy (7%), and home remedies (2%). Sixty-four percent of respondents deemed their treatment "successful," while 36% reported their treatment as either "partially successful" or "unsuccessful." Unsuccessful treatment was more likely for SWL (17%) and home remedies (14%) (p=0.002). Most respondents (52%) reported being either satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment choice. Satisfaction did not vary significantly by treatment type, but was significantly associated with treatment success (mean satisfaction 3.8/5 for "successful" vs 1.9/5 for "unsuccessful" treatment; p<0.0001). Conclusion: Use of the Internet allows rapid gathering of patient information from a large geographic distribution. Our survey is consistent with previous studies in demonstrating an increased use of ureteroscopy to treat both renal and ureteral calculi. In general, patients are satisfied with treatment outcomes despite a large percentage of people reporting needing to have secondary procedures.
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