Background and Purpose: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is the treatment of choice for patients with complex stone burdens. We performed a study to assess the effect of urologist-specific parameters on the use of PCNL - both the access component of the procedure as well as the stone removal. We also examined trends in PCNL utilization over time. Methods: We analyzed self-reported 6-month case logs submitted to The American Board of Urology (ABU) for urologists who certified or recertified between 2004 and 2013. Surgeons performing PCNL were identified by Current Procedural Terminology coding. Urologist-specific data, including fellowship training, practice type, and practice population, were used to further stratify this cohort. Trends were examined over the study period. Results: A total of 7278 urologists submitted case logs to the ABU between 2004 and 2013. The median ages of the initial certification group, first recertification group, and second recertification group were 36.0, 43.7, and 53 years, respectively. A greater proportion of newly certified urologists performed PCNL (53%) compared with urologists in the first (41%) and second (29%) recertification groups; initially certified urologists were also more likely to be high volume (>10) PCNL surgeons. Urologists with fellowship training were more likely to use PCNL (66%) and be high-volume surgeons (26.4%). PCNL utilization increased significantly during the study period, with 1330 procedures performed in 2004 and 2888 procedures performed in 2012 (117% increase). Conclusions: Younger and fellowship-trained urologists are the primary users of PCNL; the majority of senior urologists do not perform this operation. Overall, the use of PCNL and urologist-directed access has increased in the previous decade.
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