Background and Purpose: As surgical technology continues to advance, stone baskets are becoming increasingly miniaturized. We performed a study to define the effect of miniaturized stone baskets on ureteroscope irrigation flow and deflection. Materials and Methods: We compared the three smallest available stone baskets: Boston Scientific 1.3F OptiFlex, Cook 1.5F N-Circle, and Sacred Heart 1.5F Halo, measuring their effect on irrigant flow and deflection of three flexible ureteroscopes. Results: All devices adversely affected irrigation flow and active deflection of all of the ureteroscopes (P<0.05). The 1.3F device, however, exhibited significantly less of an effect on both parameters. Irrigation flow was 28% greater with the 1.3F device than it was for the 1.5F devices. The device's effect on active deflection was 43% less with the 1.3F device than it was for the 1.5F devices. Conclusion: Any device placed through the working channel of a ureteroscope will have a deleterious effect on the ureteroscope's irrigant flow and active deflection. As the caliber of the device decreases, however, its effect on these parameters appears to be reduced. Our present data suggest that the 1.3F basket has significantly less of an effect on both the irrigant flow and deflection of a flexible ureteroscope than do the 1.5F devices.
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