Size does matter: 1.5 Fr. stone baskets almost double irrigation flow during flexible ureteroscopy compared to 1.9 Fr. stone baskets
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With a new generation of flexible ureterorenoscopes, a new area in stone management is emerging. Limitation of vision with these new instruments is often caused by insufficient irrigation flow, especially when using instruments like stone baskets, resulting from partial obstruction of the working and irrigation channel with these instruments. Empirically, new available smaller stone baskets seem to dramatically improve irrigation and therefore vision in clinical use. The goal of this study was to show objective differences in basket diameters and flow rates in an in vitro setting. Diameters and irrigation flows in flexible ureterorenoscopes depending on different sizes of stone baskets (Fr. 1.5–1.7–1.9–2.2–2.4–3.0) and different deflections were measured. The measured diameter of the baskets varied within the first 20 cm and the true measured size varied from the manufacturer’s specified size to a different extent. The new generation of 1.5 and 1.7 Fr. baskets improved irrigation flow, even compared to the smallest commonly used baskets, up to 68%. Interestingly, deflection did not influence irrigation flow. This study confirmed the subjective impression of inadequate description of relevant basket diameters as well as that of a significant improvement of irrigation flow with the newest generation of stone baskets with smaller diameters.