Boston Scientific Launches Single-Use Flexible Ureteroscope

Boston Scientific Corporation has announced the U.S. and European launch of the LithoVue™ Single-Use Digital Flexible Ureteroscope for minimally invasive endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat stones and other conditions of the kidney, ureter and bladder.

Background

The old arguments persist about single use versus re-usable instrumentation. The pro-disposables lobby promote the argument that re-usable scopes are associated with greater ultimate cost as a result of the need for maintenance, sterilization and reprocessing. Supporting these arguments, Boston Scientific cites evidence that new digital flexible ureteroscopes require repair after fewer than an average of 12 uses and cost more than $6,000 per repair. Reprocessing and devices being away for repair lead to procedural delays, which Boston says occur several times per day at a cost of $830 per delay.

By providing a single-use flexible ureteroscope for urologists, the company says it is addressing the inconsistent performance, operational challenges and costs associated with widely used reusable scopes.

Boston Scientific says its newly launched LithoVue System is designed to deliver high-quality digital visualization and seamless navigation for consistent clinical performance during each patient procedure. Yet unlike reusable ureteroscopes, the LithoVue System avoids common challenges like unpredictable scope repairs and maintenance, reprocessing, sterilization and degradation of scope performance over time.

So what about that other supposed Achilles heel of disposable devices, the one that says by building something to be disposable you’ll never replicate the quality of its re-usable brethren. Well, Boston Scientific says its system delivers high-resolution images thanks to a digital CMOS imager in the 7.7F tip, with a working distance of 2mm–50mm. In fact they say it yields superb quality images across a depth of field that is equivalent to or better than those from other commonly used reusable scopes on the market.

Furthermore, with full 270˚ scope deflection in both directions accurate navigation toward the targeted treatment area can be achieved.

Finally, the icing on the cake is that the LithoVue workstation monitor with integrated image processing software is mounted on a compact, rolling mobile cart which can be used alone during a ureteroscopic procedure or connected to existing monitors and integrated video systems in the operating room suite.

Physician comments

“Flexible ureteroscopy is considered the gold standard for treating many stones in the ureter and kidney, and the LithoVue System provides high-quality visualization that is comparable to or better than the leading digital reusable ureteroscopes,” said Glenn M. Preminger, M.D., Professor of Urologic Surgery and director of the Duke University Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center.

“We believe that the LithoVue System offers a safe, effective and affordable solution that helps to avoid many of the hassles and unpredictable challenges of reusable ureteroscopes, without compromising visualization or maneuverability.”

Company comments

“At Boston Scientific, we are committed to providing innovative solutions to the healthcare challenges that our customers face every day,” said Karen Prange, senior vice president and president, Urology and Pelvic Health, Boston Scientific. “The LithoVue System is an example of how we are focused on addressing unmet needs by providing urologists and hospitals a predictable, cost-effective, minimally invasive endoscope for the management of kidney stones.”

Source: Boston Scientific Corporation

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