Contemporary Practice Patterns of Flexible Ureteroscopy for Treating Renal Stones: Results of a Worldwide Survey.
INTRODUCTION: Flexible ureteroscopy (fURS) is increasingly used in the treatment of renal stones. However, wide variations exist in technique, use, and indications. To better inform our knowledge about the contemporary state of fURS for treating renal stones, we conducted a survey of endourologists worldwide. METHODS: An anonymous online questionnaire assessing fURS treatment of renal stones, consisting of 36 items, was sent to members of the Endourology Society in October 2014. Responses were collected through the SurveyMonkey system over a 3-month period. RESULTS: Questionnaires were answered by 414 surgeons from 44 countries (response rate 20.7%). U.S. surgeons accounted for 34.4% of all respondents. fURS was routinely performed in 80.0% of institutions, with 40.0% of surgeons performing >100 cases/year. Respondents considered fURS to be first-line therapy for patients with renal stones <2 cm and lower pole calculi. A substantial minority (11.3%) preferred fURS as a primary treatment modality for renal stones >2 cm. Basket displacement for lower pole stones was routinely performed by 55.8%. Ureteral access sheaths (UAS) were preferred for every case by 58.3%. Respondents frequently utilized high-power lasers and dusting techniques. Criteria for determining stone-free rate were defined as zero fragments or residual fragment (RF) <1, <2, <3, and <4 mm by 30.9%, 8.9%, 31.5%, 15.8%, and 11.2% of respondents, respectively. CONCLUSION: The overwhelming majority of endourologists surveyed consider fURS as a first-line treatment modality for renal stones, especially those <2 cm. Use of UAS, high-power holmium lasers, and dusting technique has become popular among practitioners. When defining stone free after fURS, the majority of endourologists used a zero fragment or RF <2 mm definition.
Dauw, CA; Simeon, L; Alruwaily, AF; Sanguedolce, F; Hollingsworth, JM; Roberts, WW; Faerber, GJ; Wolf, JS; Ghani, KR
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