Single-Use Ureteroscopy and Environmental Footprint: Review of Current Evidence.

Ureteroscopy is a well-established treatment modality for kidney and ureteric calculi in addition to playing a key role in upper tract cancer diagnostics. Traditional reusable flexible ureteroscopes are technologically advanced and expensive pieces of equipment that require repeat sterilisation and periodical repair. These issues have led to the development of single-use flexible ureteroscopes that are disposed of after each case. Whilst this may be advantageous in many respects, the environmental impact of such technology is yet to be fully determined. The aim of this review is to therefore identify and summarise the available literature concerning the environmental footprint of single-use ureteroscopy.

To identify the latest research on this topic, a systematic search of world literature was conducted using the Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO databases. PRISMA guidelines were followed and articles were assessed by all authors and relevant study results were included in a narrative format. Only one relevant article was identified and included. This study found that a single-use flexible ureteroscope (LithoVueTM by Boston Scientific) generated an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide per case to a contemporary reusable flexible ureteroscope. Literature concerning the environmental footprint of single-use ureteroscopy is worryingly lacking. No conclusions can be definitively drawn from a single study and further research is imperative given the global climate crisis and the significant contribution that healthcare services have to the environmental problem.

Current urology reports. 2023 Mar 14 [Epub]

George Brown, Andrea Ong, Patrick Juliebø-Jones, Niall F Davis, Andreas Skolarikos, Bhaskar Somani

Department of Urology, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK. ., Department of Urology, University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK., Department of Urology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway., Department of Urology, Beaumont Hospital and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland., University of Athens, Athens, Greece.