The Ureteroscope as a Safety Wire for Ureteronephroscopy
AbstractBackground and Purpose: The recent technologic advances in the newer generation of flexible ureteroscopes have significantly enhanced the therapeutic and diagnostic efficacy of ureteroscopy. The purpose of our study was to assess ureteroscopy and lithotripsy of renal calculi without a safety wire, using the ureteroscope as the safety device. Patients and Methods: Medical records for patients undergoing ureteroscopy by a single surgeon were retrospectively reviewed from December 2006 to December 2009. Inclusion criteria for our study included all adult patients who underwent wireless flexible ureteroscopy for the management of renal calculi and had 1 month follow-up data. Results: Of the 568 patients who underwent ureteroscopy during this period, 268 patients met our study inclusion criteria. The mean age of the patients undergoing wireless ureteroscopy was 33 years, and the mean body mass index was 33.1 kg/m 2 . Mean stone diameter of the renal calculi treated was 12.0±5.9 mm. Fifteen percent of the patients had a ureteral stent in place before the procedure, and 84% of the patients had a stent placed after ureteroscopy. Twenty percent of the patients needed ureteral dilation, and 15% of the patients had a ureteral access sheath placed intraoperatively. The overall complication rate was 2.6% (major=0.7%, minor=1.9%). Complications included: Four urinary tract infections, two patients with urosepsis, and one patient with urinary retention. No patients had ureteral perforation or ureteral avulsion. Conclusions: Using the ureteroscope as the safety mechanism, ureteroscopy is safe with regard to maintaining renal access and control. Routine safety wires during ureteronephroscopy are not necessary assuring the ureteroscope is in the kidney.