Purpose of review
Single-use flexible ureteroscopes (su-fURS) aim at overcoming the main limitations of conventional reusable ureteroscopes in terms of acquisition and maintenance costs, breakages, and reprocessing. However, little data exist to date regarding the superiority of su-fURS at this regard. We aimed to perform a systematic literature review on available su-fURS performance with a focus on clinical data for all articles in the last 10 years.
To date, more than 10 different su-fURS are available on the market, with different characteristics and performance. Some of these devices have top-level features, almost catching up with those observed in reusable flexible ureteroscopes. Clinical evidence is mainly available only for two models, LithoVue and Uscope PU3022, and to date it is not strong enough to support routine adoption and use of su-fURS, with a consequent lack of consensus of specific clinical indications. Cost-effectiveness analyses seem to indicate an economic disadvantage in the routine adoption of su-fURS. Environmental issues related to the use of su-fURS also remain to be inquired and addressed.
Since their introduction, su-fURS have gained widespread popularity. Despite their ability at addressing reusable ureteroscope limitations, high-cost and a substantial lack of evidence are still limiting their routine adoption.