Indications and Outcomes of Ureteroscopy for Urinary Stones

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Since the earliest reports on ureteroscopic techniques by Marshall, Goodman, and Lyon et al., technologic advances and physician innovation have dramatically expanded the diagnostic and therapeutic applications for ureteroscopy (1–3). Although uretero scopic techniques were initially limited to diagnostic evaluation of the distal ureter, the development and ongoing refinement of semi-rigid and flexible ureteroscopes now make nearly all areas of the urinary tract accessible (4,5). In addition, the introduction of new technology has broadened the therapeutic implications for ureteroscopy beyond the realm of urinary stones to include definitive management of ureteropelvic junction obstruction, ureteral strictures, and select patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) involving the upper urinary tract (6–9). Furthermore, the diagnostic applications of ureteroscopy are increasingly realized for surveillance of select patients with upper-tract TCC and for the evaluation of patients with essential hematuria (9,10).