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Can the introduction of single-use flexible ureteroscopes increase the longevity of reusable flexible ureteroscopes at a high volume centre?



To assess whether the introduction of single use flexibles ureteroscopes (su-fURS) at our high-volume centre had an advantageous impact on the turn-over and breakage rates of reusable fURS (re-fURS).


We analysed re-fURS number of usages and breakages at our centre between February 2015 and December 2018. We recorded the number of usages for analysed scope between the first usage until a breakage requiring reconditioning. Usage count was restarted following each reconditioning episode. Since su-fURS (Lithovue, Boston Scientific, USA) were introduced at our center in September 2016, we had the chance to compare different re-fURS life cycles according to both su-fURS availability and usage intensity (i.e., number of su-fURS used during each re-fURS life cycle). We then explored the relationship between su-fURS usage intensity and reusable scope survival (i.e., number of utilizations before any breakage requiring reconditioning) using locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS) approach.


Five different re-fURSs were employed at our centre, for a total of 1820 usages and 40 breakages requiring reconditioning. The overall mean (SD) number of usages before breaking was 40 (22). After su-fURS introduction, mean (SD) re-fURS number of usages increased from 35 (22) to 49 (20), (+ 40%, p = 0.02). The relationship between su-fURS usage intensity and reusable scopes survival showed a linear survival increase after 10 or more su-fURS scopes were used per life cycle.


The life cycle of re-fURS increased by 40% after the introduction of su-fURS. Ten or more used su-fURS per life cycle were associated with increased re-fURS survival.

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Author information




Protocol/project development: OT, SD, EV. Data collection or management: EV, NS, FP, FQ, AJG, MACA, HT, YB. Data analysis: EV, NS. Manuscript writing/editing: EV, NS, OT, BS.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Olivier Traxer.

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Conflict of interest

Prof. Olivier Traxer is a consultant for Coloplast, Rocamed, Olympus, EMS, Boston Scientific and IPG.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Experimental units are represented by flexible ureteroscopes.

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Obtained in every case.

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Ventimiglia, E., Smyth, N., Doizi, S. et al. Can the introduction of single-use flexible ureteroscopes increase the longevity of reusable flexible ureteroscopes at a high volume centre?. World J Urol (2021).

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  • Disposable
  • Flexible ureteroscopy
  • Single use
  • Reusable
  • Repair