Place of urolithiasis in the spectrum of urological pathologies, practices and use of endourological procedures in the management of calculi of the upper urinary tract: results of a survey of referral centres in Africa.

Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Our aim was to determine the current trend of endourology in the management of upper urinary tract calculi in Africa reference centres. We conducted an online multiple-choice questionnaire survey involving 46 centres from 27 countries using a structured well-designed Google Form (®) questionnaire. The questionnaires were distributed to the head of service through their emails. The questions collected demographic data about the centre, the epidemiology of urolithiasis, diagnostic means and management of upper urolithiasis, especially access to endourology procedures and their practices. Descriptive analyses were performed. The participation rate was 77.9%. Urinary lithiasis was one of the three main pathologies encountered in 42/46 centres. 33 centres had easy access to CT scanners and 34 had operating theatres equipped with endo-urological surgery equipment. Of these 34 centres, 30 perform endourology for the management of upper urinary tract stones. Rigid ureteroscopy is the main technique used by the centres. It is the only endourology technique used for stone management by 12 centres (40%). 7/30 (23.3%) have the option of performing rigid ureteroscopy, flexible ureteroscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotomy. The frequency of procedures varies widely, with 43.3% rarely performing endourological surgery. Seventeen centres have their operating theatre equipped with a fluoroscope and 6/42 centres have extracorporeal lithotripsy. Open surgery is still used in 29/42 centres (69.1%). Laparoscopy is available in 50% of centres, but none reported performing laparoscopic lithotomy. In Africa, urinary lithiasis plays an important role in the activities of referral centres. Modern management techniques are used to varying degrees (not all centres have them) and with very variable frequency. Open surgery is still widely performed as a management. Rigid ureteroscopy is the main endourological technique. It is essential to develop the practice of modern urology in Africa, mainly endourology.

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