Imaging After Ureteroscopy: Practice Patterns, Patient Adherence and Impact on Subsequent Management in an Urban Academic Hospital System

Published:October 17, 2022DOI:


      To evaluate practice patterns of post-ureteroscopy (URS) imaging, to assess predictors of imaging order, type and completion, and to analyze impact on patient management.


      We conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent URS for nephrolithiasis at a single institution between May, 2020 to May, 2021. Patient demographic, clinical and operative characteristics were reviewed, and surgeons’ years in practice. Post-URS imaging studies less than 6 months post-operative were reviewed. Changes in patient management were defined as additional imaging tests ordered or subsequent unplanned surgery. Patient, provider and surgical variables were compared between those who had imaging ordered and those who did not.


      A total of 289 patients underwent URS. About 234 (81.0%) had post-operative imaging ordered; 147 (62.8%) completed them. Baseline demographics, stone and surgical variables were similar among those who did and did not have imaging ordered and among patients who completed imaging and did not. Pre-operative hydronephrosis was associated with ordering of post-operative imaging (OR = 4.08, P = .01). Urologists in practice less than 5 years were more likely to order post-operative imaging compared to those in practice for more than 5 years (<5: 90.6%, 15+: 53.7%; P <.001). Management changed for 52 of 147 (35.4%) patients who completed imaging; additional imaging was ordered for 38 patients (25.9%) and a second, unplanned surgery was performed for 14 (9.5%).


      The main predictive factor of ordering post-URS imaging was surgeons’ time in practice and pre-operative hydronephrosis. Post-operative imaging changed management in 35.4% of patients. We recommend the development of guidelines encouraging routine imaging for patients following ureteroscopy.
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