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A survey on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) by Iranian Urological Association

Farzad Allameh, Abbas Basiri, Amir reza Abedi, Seyyed Mohammad Ghahestani, saeed montazeri, Vahid Fakhar

Purpose: The purpose of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is to offer a universal language to describe medical services. The elaborate systems designed by high-income countries are not fully applicable in ones with limited resources. Therefore, in the current study we aimed to ask urologists' opinion about deploying relative value units in valuation of medical services in Islamic republic of Iran.


Materials and Methods: A group of appointed urologists first selected 15 urological surgeries as exemplar urological procedures. Next, urologists around the country were asked to fill out an online questionnaire comparing these procedures with standard one (varicocelectomy). Then, mean scores of four categories (Difficulty, duration, adverse events and legal issues) were determined separately for each of the 15 procedures. Subsequently, mean score for each surgery was measured using the calculated mean scores of the four aforementioned categories.


Results: 273 urologists completed an online questionnaire. All of the calculated codes were higher compared to the current codes. Urethroplasty showed the least increment with 25.22 equivalent to 51.69% while extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy showed the most increment of 63.59 equivalent to 114.37%.


Conclusion:  Although CPT is an important tool in valuation of medical services, making modifications to it, especially in low-to-middle-income countries seems necessary. In this survey, we aimed to evaluate current surgical codes for urological procedures based on urologists' opinion. All of the calculated codes were higher compared with current codes. This, indicated the necessity of making changes in relative value units of urological procedures.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of transvesical open prostatectomy (OP) compared with transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) with a prostate weight of 40-65 grams. The short-term and long-term complications of these two procedures were also assessed.


Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, we included 160 consecutive patients with BPH who had undergone TURP (n=80) or OP surgery (n=80) from 2006 to 2017 in Tohid and Kowsar hospitals, Sanandaj, Iran. Inclusion criteria were positive history of BPH, definite indication for prostatectomy, and prostate weight between 40 to 65 grams. Patients were evaluated for duration of hospitalization, need for re-operation, short-term and long-term postoperative complications, urinary flow rate, peak flow rate (Q max) and international prostate symptom score (IPSS).


Results: The mean age ± Standard Deviation (SD) of patients was 62.4 ± 3.7 and 67.2 ± 4.6 years old in the TURP and OP groups, respectively. Four (5%) and seven (8.7%) patients required transfusion in the TURP group and OP groups, respectively. Dysuria was significantly more frequent in the TURP group from week two to 12 months after surgery as compared with the OP group (P<.001). Hemodynamic changes and decrease in serum sodium level were not reported in either group. However, the urinary retention and need for urinary catheterization in the first year was significantly different between the two groups with 10 cases (12.5%) in the TURP group and no cases in the OP group (P<0.001). The need for reoperation in the TURP group was reported (27 procedures on 19 patients) (33.7%) of patients. Furthermore, retrograde ejaculation (RE) was reported in 65 (81.2%) and 80 patients (100%) of the TURP and OP group, respectively.


Conclusion: Despite the fact that TURP is the standard method of treatment for BPH when the prostate weighs between 40-65 grams, the results of our study showed that OP is a more efficient and safe surgery for these patients and is associated with less complications. Furthermore, the need for re-operation seems to be higher in patients with TURP.

Original Article Cyst Hydatid Treatment and Management in Retroperitoneal Organs; Percutaneous Drainage an Option?

Yunus Emre Göger, Mehmet Serkan Ozkent, Mehmet Aykut Yıldırım, Suleyman Bakdık, Mehmet Giray Sönmez, Cengiz Kadiyoran, Mehmet Balasar, Murat Cakir

Purpose: To evaluate patients who cyst hydatid (CH) in their retroperitoneal space and organs in order to determine a standard treatment option for CH.


Materials and Methods: The files of 56 patients who were treated for CH in our clinic were evaluated retrospectively. All patients underwent either percutaneous drainage (PD) or surgery. Patients were divided into two groups as PD (Group one) and surgery groups (Group two). Preoperative and postoperative results were compared statistically.


Results: 31 of 56 patients were male. Mean age of the patient was 39.7 (10–85). 16 patients had been treated with PD and 40 with different surgical interventions such as total cystectomy, partial cystectomy, partial nephrectomy, total nephrectomy, surrenalectomy, and laparoscopic partial surrenalectomy. Patients’ followed up was 18 months (6-38m). Relapse was seen in 1 patient who underwent PD. On comparing the results, hospitalization period was prolonged in the surgical group with enlarged cyst presence.


Conclusion: CH presence in the retroperitoneal area is rare. PD, a minimally invasive method, has the potential to be the standard treatment option as it can be performed safely in selected patients. However, currently surgical treatment is considered as the first treatment option after CH diagnosis.

Iranian Urology Association Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Taskforce Pamphlet (IUA-CTP) Recommended Practice based on National Epidemiologic Analysis

Seyed Mohammad Ghahestani, Milad Bonakdar Hashemi, Naser yousefzadeh Kandevani, Nasrin Borumandnia, Mehdi Dadpour, Farzaneh Sharifiaghdas

Since the emergence of Covid19 epidemics different guidelines and protocols have been published by Urology associations. Most of these recommendations have focused on the aptitude of any disease or condition for postponement. With the evolution of the outbreak, it is clear that postponement of procedures is not the policy we can rely on exclusively. We must know where do we stand? Where are we going in our country? How useful our recommendations have been for urology practitioners? We try to draw a clearer although-to some extent- conjectural picture and to adjust our protocols to this picture of outbreak evolution. Assuming that anything in this predicament is subject to unexpected changes.


For these goals, we raise these arguments in three sections. First, where do we stand and where are we going? Explaining the present situation and best available statistics of the disease, the velocity the disease is spreading and our approximate predicted date its subsidence or partial remission.


In a web form survey, we tried to evaluate that in the absence of a clear picture of outbreak progress in a specific area, how useful experts’ points of view will be for the urologists working in non-referral centers especially in relevance to equivocal and challenging cases. Will there be any significant difference at all?


In the third section, we try to give the plot to guide scheduling or postponing procedures in any given are according to the level of involvement. Here we considered both the characteristics of the special urology condition and also the situation and progress of the outbreak in that area

Ramadan Fasting and Kidney Stones: A Systematic Review

Mohsen Amjadi, Farzin Soleimanzadeh, Hamidreza Ghamatzadeh , Sakineh Hajebrahimi, Hossein Hosseinifard, Hanieh Salehi Pourmehr, Fateme Tahmasbi

Purpose: Ramadan fasting in Muslims may contain several hours of abstaining from food and drinking in any kind. This can potentially increase the risk of urinary stone disease. Current literature on possible effects of Ramadan fasting on urolithiasis is rather limited. Having the gap in scientific background, we decided to evaluate the available comparative information in this systematic review. 


Materials and Methods: We included all studies comparing fasting and non-fasting conditions, studies evaluating stone formation and clinical manifestations of kidney stone disease. All the English studies published from January 1980 to the end of 2019 were included. The exclusion criteria were as followed: fasting out of Ramadan, non-comparative studies, animal studies, patients with bladder stones and studies evaluating conditions that are only indirectly related to the stone formation or clinical manifestations of it. Applying the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology for systematic review showed the quality of included studies was not high.


Results: Only five studies remained after exclusion. Meta-analysis was not applicable due to the diversity in methods and evaluated population. 


Conclusion: Main trend of the included studies is toward showing no difference between fasting and non-fasting conditions in terms of renal stone formation. However, generalization of the findings to greater populations should be applied carefully considering the heterogeneity of results and quality of studies.

Robot Assisted Radical Cystectomy Outcomes in Micropapillary and Plasmacytoid Variants

Erdem Koç, Bahri Gök, Berrak Gumuskaya, Ali Fuat Atmaca, Abdullah Erdem Canda, Mevlana Derya Balbay

Purpose: To compare the patients who underwent robot assisted radical cystectomy (RARC) and extended pelvic lymph node dissection (EPLND) and whose pathology result was reported as micropapillary variant (MV), plasmacytoid variant (PV) and pure urothelial carcinoma (PUC).


Materials and Methods: The data of 133 patients who underwent RARC and EPLND with the postoperative pathology results reported as MV, PV and PUC were analyzed. According to the postoperative pathology results, patients were divided into two groups in initial analyses as variant pathologies group (n=14) and PUC group (n=119). In secondary analyses, patients were divided into three groups as MV group (n=7), PV group (n=7) and PUC group (n=119). The operative data, oncologic outcomes and complications were compared between the groups.


Results: Median operation time and estimated blood loss were significantly increased in variant pathologies group (P <0.001 and P = .001, respectively). The postoperative pathological T stage, positive surgical margin rate and lymph node involvement were also significantly increased in variant pathologies (P = .001, P = 0.004, P <0.001, respectively). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed significant decrease in OS and CSS times in PV group compared to PUC group (P = .048 and P = .016, respectively).


Conclusion: MV and PV are rarely seen variant pathologies with higher pathological T stages. RARC is a minimally invasive surgical technique that can be performed successfully by an experienced surgical team with low morbidity rates and similar oncological results, even in challenging cases.

Background: Partial adrenalectomy (PA) is an emerging modality typically performed for the treatment of hereditary and sporadic bilateral tumors, to reduce the risk of adrenal failure. In this study, we evaluated the recurrence and functional outcomes after partial and total adrenalectomy (TA).


Materials and methods: From March 2005 to July 2018, 284 patients with functional tumor or > 5 cm adrenal mass underwent clipless and sutureless laparoscopic partial or total adrenalectomy (PLA and TLA). Patients with a pathological diagnosis of pheochromocytoma, Cushing or Conn’s disease and more than two yea follow up were included in this study.  Pre-operative and operative variables were collected retrospectively and functional outcomes and recurrence were gathered prospectively.


Results: One hundred forty patients (mean age: 43±5.1years) were included in the study. PLA and TLA were performed for pheochromocytoma (total n=78; PLA=12 (15%), TLA=66 (85%)), Cushing syndrome (toal n=17; PLA = 4 (24%), TLA = 13 (76%)), and Conn’s disease (total n=45; PLA=7 (16%), TLA=38 (84%)). In pheochromocytoma patients, improvement of hypertension, palpitation, and headache was not different between patients who underwent PLA versus TLA (all P > 0.05).  Two recurrences were observed in patients with pheochromocytoma and they had undergone TLA. In patients with Cushing disease, central obesity, fascial plethora and hypertension were improved in all patients six months after treatment, muscle weakness was improved one year after surgery, and acne and hyperpigmentation only improved two years after surgery. Length of time for resolution of symptoms was not different in patients who underwent PLA versus TLA. In Conn’s disease hypertension was resolved in all patients and no patient required potassium supplements post-operatively. In follow up no recurrence was observed in patients with a pathological diagnosis of Cushing or Conn’s disease.


Conclusion: In our experience, PLA can provide excellent control of the symptoms parallel with TLA and with no statistically significant difference in recurrence making PLA an attractive option in patients with an adrenal mass.

INTRODUCTION: On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic. Since then hospitals have reduced inpatient and outpatient workflow and cancelled or suspended all non-emergent and routine surgical procedures. Our objective is to determine whether, during the COVID-19 period, there has been any modification in urological services.


MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied the data from January-May 2020 and 2019 about the variables: number of operations, waiting list, visits in outpatient department, bladder instillations and urological emergencies and admission rates.


RESULTS: Cancer cases high-risk for stage progression and surgical emergencies, were elected to proceed directly to treatment. The number of the operations was reduced by 43-65% from March-May 2020. Our surgical list had a waiting time of 6-8 weeks before the pandemic and now the waiting time has expanded to 12 weeks. Urological emergencies were reduced about 23-57%. Admission rates were dropped 10-51%. Visits in outpatient clinics were reduced 100-50% and outpatient procedures for elective cases were all deferred. Unfortunately, the hospital did not offer synchronous telehealth appointments. Bladder instillations of BCG or chemotherapeutics were not suspended but start of new cases had a delay of 2-3 weeks. There were no cases of COVID-19 in our department.


CONCLUSION: All the variables of our urologic practice were affected during the COVID era. The impact of the reduced model of outpatient and inpatient workflow on the health of our patients is unknown. However, longer waiting lists are expected. It is obvious that healthcare providers should adopt a new healthcare model.