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Radiation exposure to the patient and operating room personnel during percutaneous nephrolithotomy

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Introduction: The increased use of fluoroscopy during percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) places the urologist and operating room personnel at an occupational risk for measurable radiation exposure. We evaluated the degree of radiation exposure received by the patient and operating room personnel at our endourology facility during PCNL. Patients and method: The incident radiation dose to the patient and the urologist during 50 consecutive PCNL procedures was monitored using lithium fluoride thermo-luminescent dosimeter chips (TLD chips). A hand held radiation survey meter was used to measure the radiation in air at different positions occupied by various operating room personnel. The approximate distances of the various personnel from the X-ray tube were also measured. Results: PCNL was performed upon 35 males and 15 females. The average time for the procedure was 75 minutes (range: 30–150 min). The mean fluoroscopy screening time during the procedure was 6.04 min (range 1.8–12.16 min) with a mean fluoroscopy tube potential of 68 kVp and a mean tube current of 2.76 mA. The mean radiation exposure dose to the patient was 0.56 mSv (SD ± 0.35), while the mean incident radiation exposure to the finger of the urologist was 0.28 mSv (SD ± 0.13). Conclusion: The various operating room personnel are within safe radiation dose limits during PCNL. Efficient fluoroscopy further reduces the radiation scatter. All occupational personnel should ‘achieve as low as reasonably achievable’ dose by adhering to good practices.

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Correspondence to Monish Aron.

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Kumari, G., Kumar, P., Wadhwa, P. et al. Radiation exposure to the patient and operating room personnel during percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Int Urol Nephrol 38, 207–210 (2006).

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