Current T.O.W.E.R. Research Projects

Fostering International Collaboration

These are short descriptions of the TOWER studies currently underway.


What is the best option for a 13-15 mm lower pole stone? Shockwave lithotripsy? Ureteroscopy? Percutaneous nephrolithotomy? This randomized prospective trial will help us answer this question with modern day technology and help us counsel our patients on the pros and cons of each modality.

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Shockwave lithotripsy of distal ureteral stones

While shockwave lithotripsy use has declined in some areas of the world, it is still very much used in others. Many guidelines offer it as an alternative to ureteroscopy for stones in the distal ureter. There is clinical equipoise that ureteroscopy is better. This study will evaluate whether SWL of distal ureteral stones is non-inferior to ureteroscopy.


Quality of Life in Stone patients

Technology to treat kidney stones has improved so much and open stone surgery which has all but vanished.  With the advent of shockwave lithotripsies, laser lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, and smaller digital ureteroscopes, we are upon the most advanced technological aspect in kidney stone treatment.  Which methods offer the best quality of life?

Guy Skiing

We aim to identify differences in differences and outcomes. The international collaboration and various pattern practices will help us understand the outcomes of percutaneous nephrolithotomy.  We will be databasing for a limited amounted of time and evaluating 

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Database

Does 7 days of pre-operative tamsulosin increase the rate of successful ureteral access sheath insertion during flexible ureterorenoscopy? 

This is a prospective randomized trial of 7 days of pre-op tamsulosin or no medication to determine if it increases the success rate of inserting a ureteral access sheath. 

X-rays at 3 months will also help determine stone free rate. 

Does Pre-op Tamsulosin Facilitate Ureteroscopic Access?

We will have multiple studies examining the effect of kidney stones, their treatments, medications and ureteral stents on patients' quality of life.  Various questionnaires and tools will be used to assess these parameters.

Quality of Life with Kidney stones and kidney stone treatment

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