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Urology. 2007 Feb;69(2):311-4.

Financial comparative analysis of minimally invasive surgery to open surgery for localized prostate cancer: a single-institution experience.

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  • 1Duke Prostate Center and Division of Urologic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



To evaluate the financial implications of how the costs of new minimally invasive surgery such as laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy (LRP) and cryosurgical ablation of the prostate (CAP) technologies compare with those of conventional surgery.


From January 2002 to July 2005, 452 consecutive patients underwent surgical treatment for clinically localized (Stage T1-T2) prostate cancer. The distribution of patients among the surgical procedures was as follows: group 1, radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) (n = 197); group 2, radical perineal prostatectomy (RPP) (n = 60); group 3, LRP (n = 137); and group 4, CAP (n = 58). The total direct hospital costs and grand total hospital costs were analyzed for each type of surgery.


The mean length of stay in the CAP group was significantly lower (0.16 +/- 0.14 days) than that for RRP (2.79 +/- 1.46 days), RPP (2.87 +/- 1.43 days), and LRP (2.15 +/- 1.48 days; P <0.0005). The direct surgical costs were less for the RRP (2471 dollars +/- 636 dollars) and RPP (2788 dollars +/- 762 dollars) groups than for the technology-dependent procedures: LRP (3441 dollars +/- 545 dollars) and CAP (5702 dollars +/- 1606 dollars; P <0.0005). The total hospital cost differences, including pathologic assessment costs, were less for LRP (10,047 dollars +/- 107 dollars, median 9343 dollars) and CAP (9195 dollars +/- 1511 dollars, median 8796 dollars) than for RRP (10,704 dollars +/- 3468 dollars, median 9724 dollars) or RPP (10,536 dollars +/- 3088 dollars, median 9251 dollars), with significant differences (P <0.05) between the minimally invasive technique and open surgery groups.


In our study, despite the relatively increased surgical expense of CAP compared with conventional surgical prostatectomy (RRP or RPP) and LRP, the overall direct costs were offset by the significantly lower nonoperative hospital costs. The cost advantages associated with CAP included a shorter length of stay in the hospital and the absence of pathologic costs and the need for blood transfusion.

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