Use of flexible ureteroscopy in the clinical practice for the treatment of renal stones: results from a large European survey conducted by the EAU Young Academic Urologists-Working Party on Endourology and Urolithiasis
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Treatment of renal stones using flexible ureteroscopy (fURS) is increasingly common despite the poor evidence in literature supporting its use and indications. With this study, we wanted to investigate the current use and indication of fURS for the treatment of renal stones in the clinical practice across the European countries. A survey was conducted using an emailed questionnaire consisting of 21 items; 2,894 recipients were selected via the EAU membership database. The questionnaires were collected through the SurveyMonkey system and the data were processed with the SPSS statistical package. Frequencies, cross tabs and Pearson correlation coefficients were applied as appropriate. 1,168 questionnaires were collected (response rate 40.4 %). fURS was performed in 72.9 % of the respondents’ institutions, and 54.2 % of the respondents were performing the procedure. For 95 % of the users, fURS was considered first-line treatment, for stone of lower pole stone (45.9 %) and <1 cm (44.2 %) and 2 cm (43.8 %) in size. The ureteral access sheaths were used routinely by more than 70 % of the respondents. Lower pole stone repositioning technique was routinely performed by 45.9 % of the surgeons. After fragmentation, 47.2 % of the responders preferred to retrieve only the bigger fragments. At the end of fURS, lower volume surgeons were more likely to place routinely a double-J stent (p = 0.001). Higher volume surgeons estimated a higher durability of devices, both optical and digital ones (p < 0.001), and were more prone to consider fURS cost-effective when compared to other treatment modalities (p < 0.001). fURS is widely used for the treatment of renal stones and its use and indication can vary according to the age and surgeons’ case volume. Higher volume surgeons are more prompt to extend international guidelines indications and to consider the technology cost-effective.
KeywordsRenal stones Flexible ureteroscopy Survey Guidelines
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