The Economic Implications of a Reusable Flexible Digital Ureteroscope: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Christopher J. Martin, Sean B. McAdams, Haidar Abdul-Muhsin, Victoria M. Lim, Rafael Nunez-Nateras, Mark D. Tyson, Mitchell R. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose Questions remain regarding the durability and longevity of flexible ureteroscopes. The objective of this study was to estimate the potential economic benefits of single use, flexible digital ureteroscopes compared to our recent experience with reusable flexible digital ureteroscopes using cost-benefit analysis. Materials and Methods Ureteroscopic procedures were prospectively recorded over the 12-month period of February 2014 to February 2015. All flexible ureteroscopies were performed using Flex X C digital ureteroscopes (Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, El Segundo, California). Cost assessment was based on the original purchasing cost and repair-exchange fees divided by the number of cases. An algorithm was created to include per case reprocessing costs and calculate the benefit-to-cost ratio. This cost was compared to potential costs of the LithoVue™, a single use digital ureteroscope. Results In 160 cases a flexible reusable ureteroscope was used. There was damage to 11 ureteroscopes during this time with an average of 12.5 cases to failure. Excluding original purchasing costs, the cost analysis revealed an amortized cost of $848.10 per use. After 99 ureteroscope cases the cost-benefit analysis favored reusable ureteroscopes compared to disposable ureteroscopes. Conclusions Digital ureteroscopes are the latest trend in the evolution of endourology. It appears that a disposable ureteroscope may be cost beneficial at centers with a lower case volume per year. However, institutions with a high volume of cases may find reusable ureteroscopes cost beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-735
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • cost-benefit analysis
  • disposable equipment
  • equipment reuse
  • ureter
  • ureteroscopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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