A Good Craftsperson Knows Their Tools: Understanding of Laser and Ureter Mechanics in Training Urologists.

Introduction: Recent decades have seen a move to minimally invasive techniques to manage urolithiasis. Trainees are expected to develop competency in common endourology procedures. Knowledge of ureter mechanics and the theory behind new technologies is important to ensure safe and efficient techniques. We aim to evaluate the exposure to endourology, self-reported competency in common techniques and knowledge of basic ureter biomechanics and technology in training urologists. Methods: An online survey was circulated to all training urologists in the Republic of Ireland. Questions focused on self-reported competency, clinical knowledge, ureter mechanical properties and laser technology. Results: Thirty responses were received with a range of 1-8 years of urology experience (mean=4 years). The respondents reported high levels of exposure to endourology with the majority reporting competency in flexible ureterorenoscopy (FURS) (n=18, 60%) and semi-rigid ureteroscopy (URS) (n=21, 70%). The respondents demonstrated good clinical knowledge but variable knowledge of laser settings, laser thermodynamics and ureter mechanics. Half of the respondents (n=15, 50%) correctly described fragmentation laser settings, with 10 trainees (n=33%) accurately identifying both factors that increase ureteral access sheath (UAS) insertion force. Most of the respondents (n=20, 67%) described the proximal ureter as the site with the greatest compliance, while the site of the greatest force during ureteroscope insertion was correctly identified by 17% (n=5). Conclusion: To our knowledge, this represents the first study evaluating urologist understanding of laser technology and the mechanical properties of the human ureter. Despite trainees reporting high levels of experience in endourology, there is a variable understanding of the principles of laser technology and ureter mechanics. Further research and education are needed with a focus on laser safety, suitable laser settings and the safe limit of insertion forces.

Journal of lasers in medical sciences. 2023 Aug 29*** epublish ***

Sorcha O'Meara, Stefanie Croghan, Fergal J O'Brien, Niall F Davis

Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland., Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, Ireland.