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OBJECTIVE: To provide a 5-year follow-on update on the changes in prevalence and treatment of upper urinary tract (UUT) stone disease in England. METHODS: Data from the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) website ( were extracted, summarised, analysed, and presented. RESULTS: The total number of UUT stone hospital episodes increased slightly from 83 050 in 2009-2010 to 86 742 in 2014-2015 (4.4% increase). The use of shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) for treating all UUT stones remained stable over the 5-year study period following a significant increase in previous years. There was a 49.6% increase in the number of ureteroscopic stone treatments from 12 062 in 2009-2010 to 18 055 in 2014-2015. Increase in ureterorenoscopy (flexible ureteroscopy) showed the most rapid increase from 3 267 to 6 631 cases in the 5-year study period (103% increase). The gap between the total number of ureteroscopies and SWL treatments continues to narrow. Open stone surgery continued to decline with only 30 reported cases in 2014-2015. Due to the continued rapid increase in the number of ureteroscopies performed, treatment for stone disease has continued to increase significantly in comparison to other urological activity. CONCLUSION: This study provides an update on the changing landscape of the management of UUT stones in England. It shows a sustained high prevalence of stone disease commensurate with levels in other developed countries. This study reveals a trend in the last 5 years to surgically intervene on a higher proportion of patients with stones. As in other countries, there is a significant increase in the use of ureteroscopy (particularly intrarenal flexible ureteroscopy) in England. These data have important implications for work-force planning, training, service delivery, and research in the field of urolithiasis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





785 - 789


endourology, epidemiology, kidney stones, public health, urolithiasis, Adolescent, Adult, England, Hospitals, Humans, Kidney Calculi, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Time Factors, Ureteral Calculi, Young Adult