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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 476759, 6 pages
Research Article

An Investigation of the Basic Physics of Irrigation in Urology and the Role of Automated Pump Irrigation in Cystoscopy

1Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Austin Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
3Department of Surgery, Austin Hospital, 145 Studley Road, P.O. Box 5555, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia

Received 27 January 2012; Accepted 14 February 2012

Academic Editors: K. Akakura and R. Cecere

Copyright © 2012 Dwayne Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To investigate the effects of height, external pressure, and bladder fullness on the flow rate in continuous, non-continuous cystoscopy and the automated irrigation fluid pumping system (AIFPS). Materials. Each experiment had two 2-litre 0.9% saline bags connected to a continuous, non-continuous cystoscope or AIFPS via irrigation tubing. Other equipment included height-adjustable drip poles, uroflowmetry devices, and model bladders. Methods. In Experiment 1, saline bags were elevated to measure the increment in flow rate. In Experiment 2, saline bags were placed under external pressures to evaluate the effect on flow rate. In Experiment 3, flow rate changes in response to variable bladder fullness were measured. Results. Elevating saline bags caused an increase in flow rates, however the increment slowed down beyond a height of 80 cm. Increase in external pressure on saline bags elevated flow rates, but inconsistently. A fuller bladder led to a decrease in flow rates. In all experiments, the AIFPS posted consistent flow rates. Conclusions. Traditional irrigation systems were susceptible to changes in height of irrigation solution, external pressure application, and bladder fullness thus creating inconsistent flow rates. The AIFPS produced consistent flow rates and was not affected by any of the factors investigated in the study.