Objectives: To assess the use of new technology by American urologists.
Methods: Using the American Urological Association directory, surveys were sent via the U.S. postal service to 1000 randomly selected American urologists and 3065 urologists who had an Internet address listed in the directory.
Results: Responses were received from 601 urologists (415 postal, 186 Internet). Overall, 81% of survey respondents reported performing fewer or the same number of percutaneous procedures as compared with 3 to 4 years ago and 84% reported carrying out more or the same number of ureteroscopic procedures in the treatment of patients with stone disease. Open dismembered pyeloplasty (43%) and Acucise endopyelotomy (42%) were most frequently reported as the preferred treatment for adult patients with symptomatic ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Although 60% of respondents reported that they have taken a laparoscopy course, 67% currently do not perform any laparoscopy in their practice. In addition, only 7% of urologists stated that laparoscopy comprises more than 5% of their practice. When stratified by the number of years in practice, those in practice less than 10 years were more likely than those in practice 10 to 20 years and those in practice longer than 20 years to have performed an endopyelotomy (77%, 60%, and 48%, respectively, P <0.001) and to be currently performing laparoscopy (49%, 36%, and 18%, respectively, P <0.001).
Conclusions: Compared with 3 to 4 years ago, American urologists are performing more ureteroscopy and fewer percutaneous stone procedures. Although most urologists have taken laparoscopy courses, this modality has not been widely incorporated into their practices at present.