Background: Flexible and semirigid ureteroscopy (URS) are widely performed for the treatment of upper tract calculi and tumors. Ureteral avulsion is a rare, but devastating complication of endoscopic stone removal having multiple possible etiologies. Awareness and avoidance of this rare complication depend on identifying responsible mechanisms. This study examines the situations in which ureteral avulsion occurs as described anonymously in the Manufacturer and User facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database. Materials and Methods: The MAUDE database was systematically reviewed to account for all reported complications of flexible and semirigid URS. Keywords "ureteroscopy, injury, death, malfunction and other" were entered in the database and medical device reports were reviewed to capture any cases resulting in ureteral avulsion. Attention was paid to the type of ureteroscope involved and the mechanism for avulsion. Results: A total of 104 entries were found detailing the reported complications of flexible and semirigid URS. Ureteral avulsion was clearly noted in six reports with flexible (2) and semirigid ureteroscopes (4). Potential mechanisms included locked deflection of a flexible ureteroscope (1), bunching of the distal bending rubber in a flexible ureteroscope (1), scabbard avulsion (3), and stone basketing (1). Conclusions: Although the incidence of ureteral avulsion cannot truly be determined from this study, some potentially novel mechanisms for this rare complication are observed. This may target future educational efforts to maximize awareness and avoidance of this complication.
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