Introduction and Objectives: Published literature on damages to a digital flexible ureteroscope (DFU) examines a limited number of ureteroscopes and shows wide variation in its durability. The aim of this study was to compare the primary damage location, causes of DFU damages, and the durability of Karl Storz Flex-Xc digital ureteroscope between University Hospital (UH) and Ambulatory Care Surgery Center (ASC). We also evaluated the available literature on the durability of DFU. Methods: Each damaged DFU prospectively underwent a manufacturer's evaluation to determine the reason for return and primary site of damage. Hospital data on the number of ureteroscopic procedures and damaged DFUs over 3 years were retrospectively reviewed. The possible reason for the damage was classified as either intraoperative or between the procedures. The durability of DFUs, type, and cause of damage were compared between the UH and nonteaching ASC. A chi-square test was utilized for categorical variables. When cell frequencies were <5, Fisher's exact test was used. Results: During the study period, 1211 ureteroscopies were performed and 143 ureteroscopes were returned to the manufacturer. The mean number of uses was 7.45 at the UH and 16.5 at the ASC. The location and cause of damage were similar at both locations. The most common locations of primary damage were at the angle cover (70.6%) and instrument channel (19.2%). Most damage occurred during the handling of the ureteroscopes between surgical procedures (78%). On review of the literature, we found that DFUs were 6 times more durable in a nonteaching hospital. Conclusions: The DFU was more than two times as durable in the ASC as in the UH. Most incidents occurred during handling between surgical procedures. Future research is needed to examine the impact of training and certification of support staff on durability of DFUs.
- digital flexible ureteroscope
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