Endoscopy Insights Podcast

How Effective is Flexible Ureteroscope Reprocessing?

"I think the FDA's announcement has prompted us to look at that process and see if there are opportunities where we can tighten or more standardize the process to ensure the scopes are being cleaned to a certain metric."

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a letter to healthcare providers in April 2021 announcing its investigation into numerous medical device reports involving reprocessed urological endoscopes, Dr. Seth Bechis and his colleagues set out to learn more about reprocessing and its effectiveness.

They focused on flexible ureteroscopes in their research and found that, while studies assessing the effectiveness of on these specific scopes is limited, their findings line up with recent news about other flexible endoscopes — that a surprising number still harbor protein and other debris even after reprocessing, raising patient safety concerns.

Their findings were published in the journal Urology. We caught up with Dr. Bechis at the American Urological Association’s annual convention in New Orleans to talk more about the study.

Dr. Bechis is a board-certified urologist and member of the comprehensive Kidney Stone Center at UC San Diego Health. He's also an Ambu consultant.

Show notes:

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Endoscopy Insights is a podcast devoted to conversations with thought leaders in flexible and single-use endoscopy. In each episode we’ll explore the ways different clinical and technological innovations are moving the field of endoscopy forward.       

Endoscopy Insights is brought to you by Single-Use Endoscopy, part of the Ambu Learning Center. Ambu has been bringing healthcare solutions of the future to life since 1937.

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The only agreed-upon endoscope reprocessing standard, experts note, is to follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use — but those IFUs can contain hundreds of steps and can be impossible for staffers to follow down to the letter.

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The authors of a recent review found that routine repair is costly and may cause delays in service while reusable devices are unavailable. Specialized equipment and staff are needed for sterilization — and inadequate cleaning increases infection risk.