Objectives: A survey was performed to assess the current practice patterns in laparoscopy among urologists in Germany and Switzerland.
Methods: Using the database directory of the German and Swiss Urological Association urological departments were identified. A detailed questionnaire was designed and sent by postal service. Responding questionnaires were analyzed.
Results: The overall response rate was 64%. Fifty-four percent of respondents in Germany and 33% in Switzerland already perform laparoscopy; another 50% and 56% are planning to introduce laparoscopy. Thirty-six percent think that laparoscopy is economical and 77% await shortening of hospital stay. Major concerns are: Economical aspects, lengthy learning curve, investment, and lack of scientific data. The number of laparoscopic procedures during 12 months was registered for 19 indications. More than 40 procedures for one indication are performed by only 6% of the departments.
Conclusions: The survey reveals an increasing number of departments performing laparoscopy and broad acceptance of the technology but combined with some major concerns. Currently only a minority of the departments perform more than 40 procedures for one indication suggesting that at present laparoscopy is mainly a center-based technology.