The objective of the study was to evaluate the clinical factors affecting the operative time of flexible ureteroscopy (fURS). We retrospectively evaluated 233 patients with renal stones who had been treated successfully and had stone-free status 3 months after fURS and holmium laser lithotripsy between December 2009 and December 2013 at a single institute. Operative time was divided into three periods (total, before fragmentation, and after starting fragmentation), and associations between possible factors and these periods were analyzed by a multivariate logistic regression model with backward selection. The mean total operative time was 74.0 ± 32.0 min. There were significant differences in the following clinical factors: sex, body height, stone volume, maximum and mean Hounsfield units (HUs), diameter of the ureteral access sheath, and experience of the surgeon, between patients who underwent procedures with a total operative time of less or more than 90 min. A multivariate assessment revealed four independent factors influencing total operative time (P < 0.05): stone volume (P < 0.001), experience of the surgeon (P < 0.001), maximum HUs (P = 0.014), and lack of preoperative stenting (P = 0.027). Larger stone volume, lower experience level of the surgeon, higher HUs, and the absence of preoperative stenting were identified as parameters prolonging the total operative time of fURS and, in particular, the operative time after starting fragmentation. On the other hand, operative time before starting fragmentation, which represented the time required to identify the stone by ureteroscopy and insert the access sheath, was more difficult to predict preoperatively.
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