Purpose: We compared patient and urologist perceptions regarding the medical management of stone disease. Materials and Methods: A total of 159 patients were prospectively interviewed. Patients were asked 3 questions concerning subjective tolerance of stone passage and surgical intervention weighed against the use of daily preventive medication. The same questions were sent to members of the Endourological Society. Results: Mean ± SD patient age was 51 ± 14 years. Recurrent stone formers comprised 72% of patients and 76% had undergone a prior surgical procedure while 43% were taking prophylactic medication. Overall 81% and 88% of patients responded that they would rather take medication than tolerate a single stone event at home or in the emergency room, respectively. Likewise 92% of patients stated that they would prefer daily medication compared to any surgical procedure. Among 61 urologists 26%, 38% and 18% responded that patients would likely tolerate 1, 2 or an unlimited number of stone passages at home, respectively, before agreeing to take medication. Of the urologists 66% estimated that patients would tolerate up to 2 acute stone events requiring an emergency room visit before starting medication. In addition 20%, 31% and 33% of urologists presumed that patients would accept the need for surgery annually, every other year or every third year rather than take medication. Conclusions: Most patients with stones will consider preventive medical therapy to avoid recurrent pain or a surgical procedure. In contrast, most urologists perceive that patients prefer to avoid medication even if it means tolerating several acute stone events and/or surgical procedures.
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