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Arch Dermatol. 2006 Feb;142(2):187-94.

Cost-effectiveness of Mohs Micrographic Surgery vs Surgical Excision for Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Face.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Medical Technology Assessment, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.



To assess the cost-effectiveness of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) compared with the surgical excision for both primary and recurrent basal cell carcinoma (BCC).


A cost-effectiveness study performed alongside a prospective randomized clinical trial in which MMS was compared with surgical excision.


The study was carried out from 1999 to 2002 at the dermatology outpatient clinic of the University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


A total of 408 primary (374 patients) and 204 recurrent (191 patients) cases of facial BCC were included.


The mean total treatment costs of MMS and surgical excision for both primary and recurrent BCC and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, calculated as the difference in costs between MMS and surgical excision divided by their difference in effectiveness. The resulting ratio is defined as the incremental costs of MMS compared with surgical excision to prevent 1 additional recurrence.


Compared with surgical excision, the total treatment costs of MMS are significantly higher (cost difference: primary BCC, 254 euros; 95% confidence interval, 181-324 euros; recurrent BCC, 249 euros; 95% confidence interval, 175-323 euros). For primary BCC, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was 29,231 euros, while the ratio for recurrent BCC amounted to 8094 euros. The acceptability curves showed that for these ratios, the probability of MMS being more cost-effective than surgical excision never reached 50%.


At present, it does not seem cost-effective to introduce MMS on a large scale for both primary and recurrent BCC. However, because a 5-year period is normally required to determine definite recurrence rates, it is possible that MMS may become a cost-effective treatment for recurrent BCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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