New technology update: What’s worth it, what’s not?

Which ureteroscopy technology innovations have the potential to make the greatest clinical impact?

Sri Sivalingam, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Sri Sivalingam, MD, MSc, FRCSC

There have been tremendous technologic advancements in endourologic management of stone disease, particularly within the past five years, including the thulium fiber laser, proliferation of new generation single-use ureteroscopes and the emergence of robot-assisted ureteroscopy.

“The momentum has not slowed down, which is exciting. But it can be difficult for urologists to keep up with the technology and filter out what's important and clinically relevant from what’s not,” said Sri Sivalingam, MD, MSc, FRCSC. With the thulium laser, for example, “many urologists, especially general urologists practicing in the community, may still be trying to understand how to best use it, optimize its performance and maintain the safety profile.”

In Saturday’s session, “Choose a Single New Ureteroscopy-Related Item and Discuss Why It is the Most Important,” Dr. Sivalingam, associate professor of surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in Ohio, will moderate a panel discussion of thought leaders in the field of endourology who will share their insights on the latest technologies and devices to build awareness about what’s available and in the pipeline. Panelists will highlight which of the newest technological advances they believe will most likely benefit practicing urologists to improve surgical efficiency, patient safety and clinical outcomes. Expert panelists include:

  • Silvia Proietti, MD, FEBU, a urologist with San Raffaele Hospital, Ville Turro Division, in Milan, Italy. Dr. Proietti is also director of the European Training Center of Endourology.
  • Marianne Brehmer, MD, associate professor, consultant urologist and head of the upper tract urothelial carcinoma research group, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Mitchell R. Humphreys, MD, professor and chair, department of urology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Humphreys also serves as the Dean of the Mayo School of Continuous Professional Development and the Endourology Fellowship director.
  • Wilson R. Molina, MD, a urologist with the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City.

“It is important for urologists to understand the merits of new technology and appreciate how it fits into their clinical practice,” Dr. Sivalingam said. “There is a lot of marketing surrounding new technology and almost everything sounds like the next best thing.”

Be prepared to come away with information that can help you decipher which new technology is nice, but not necessary—and what's really worth it.

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