Safety During Ureteroscopy: Radiation, Eyes, and Ergonomics

January 14, 2022

A review recently published in Frontiers in Surgery to discuss safety during ureteroscopy was authored by urology experts, including UPMC Department of Urology physician Michelle Jo Semins, MD.

Safety in the operating room is of paramount importance to the patient, but also to the surgeon and staff in the room. Urologic surgeons are at risk of work-place injury due to the physical requirements of operating and exposure to hazards. These hazards can include radiation, exposure to body fluids, use of laser energy, and orthopaedic injury due to the physical nature of operating. The risks that these hazards present can be mitigated by implementing several evidence-based safety measures.

The methods to protect against radiation exposure include keeping radiation usage in the operating room as low as reasonably achievable, donning lead aprons, and wearing protective glasses. Additionally, protective glasses decrease the risk of eye injury from laser injury and exposure to body fluids. Practicing sound surgical ergonomics is essential to minimize the risk of orthopedic injury and promote career longevity.

In conclusion, urologists are at risk for occupational radiation exposure and bodily injury, and procedures to mitigate these risks should be taken at all times. The aforementioned interventions are simple and easy to implement in one's daily practice of urology and, by doing so, the level of safety improves for not only the urologist but also for our patients and support staff.

Read more about this study on PubMed.

Other study authors include David T. Miller, MD.