Ureteroscopic management of lower ureteric calculi: a 15-year single-centre experience


Osama M. Elashry, Urology Department, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt.e-mail: oselashry@yahoo.com



To review our 15-year experience with ureteroscopic treatment of distal ureteric calculi and to determine the impact of improved technology and techniques on the efficacy, success and complications of the procedure.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 4512 patients who underwent 5133 ureteroscopic procedures for the treatment of distal ureteric calculi at our institution from January 1991 to December 2005. The patient and stone characteristics, treatment variables and clinical outcomes were assessed. Factors such as type of ureteroscope, procedure duration, procedure success, complication rate and hospital stay were evaluated. Data obtained from a cohort of patients that underwent the procedure from 1991 to 1995 (group 1) were statistical compared with those obtained from a cohort of patients from 1996 to 2005 (group 2). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify associated factors with the major complications of ureteroscopy.


Overall, the stone-free rate after the procedure was 94.6%, the mean (sd; range) operative duration was 43 (15.0; 25–120) min, the intraoperative complication rate was 6.67%, the postoperative complication rate was 9.9%, and the mean (sd) hospital stay was 1.7 (1.1) days. The clinical and radiological follow-up (mean 36.8 months) for 71.3% of eligible patients detected only 12 ureteric strictures (0.23%). On comparing group 1 with group 2, the overall success of ureteroscopic stone extraction improved from 85.7% to 97.3% (P < 0.001), significant ureteric perforation decreased from 3.3% to 0.5% (P = 0.05), ureteric avulsion decreased from 1.3 to 0.1% (P < 0.05), ureteric stricture decreased from 0.7% to 0.1% (P < 0.007), the mean (sd) procedure time significantly decreased from 75 (42.9) min to 36.5 (12.5) min (P < 0.001), and the mean hospital stay significantly decreased from 2.5 (1.6) days to 0.5 (1.2) days, with a trend toward outpatient treatment. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association of the major ureteroscopic complications with increased operative duration, type of ureteroscope used, stone impaction, stone size and surgeon experience.


The present series shows the high success rate, with minor complications, that can be achieved with ureteroscopic treatment of distal ureteric calculi. Improvements in ureteroscope design, accessories, technique and experience have led to a significant increase in the success rate and decrease in the complication rate.