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    Single-use scope yields 45-min average surgery time

    Stone-free rates found comparable with reusable flexible ureteroscopes

    Boston—Flexible ureteroscopy using a digital single-use flexible ureteroscope known as PUSEN achieves stone-free rates on par with reusable flexible ureteroscopes, with a total surgery time averaging 45 minutes.

    These were the findings from an initial experience with the digital single-use flexible ureteroscope in 11 patients at Clínica Santa María in Santiago, Chile.

    “The clinical results achieved in the present study suggest that this device could be considered a valid method to treat endoscopically renal and proximal ureteral stones, reducing maintenance costs,” said lead investigator José A. Salvadó, MD, at the AUA annual meeting in Boston.

    “The cost of a disposable scope is about $800 U.S. each,” he said. “On the other hand, the cost of a reusable endoscope can reach, in Chile, up to $40,000—with an average duration of 25 procedures, that is to say twice as much as a disposable one, without considering the cost associated with sterilization.”

    Problems with the use of flexible ureteroscopes have been documented.

    “You have progressive deterioration of the scope performance and costly repairs,” said Dr. Salvadó, director of the Center for Comprehensive Management of Urinary Stone Disease at Clínica Santa María. “We have some problems with sterilization, risk of failure in decontamination, and we have also the cost of maintenance.”

    Next: Reusable scopes linked with damage, repairs

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