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BJU Int. 2011 Sep;108(6):888-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.09906.x. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

The impact of surgical experience on total hospital charges for minimally invasive prostatectomy: a population-based study.

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Martiniclinic, Prostate Cancer Center University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.



• To evaluate the relationship between surgical volume (SV) and total hospital charges in patients undergoing minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) for treatment of localized prostate cancer.


• Within the Florida Hospital Inpatient Datafile, 2666 men who were treated with MIRP for prostate cancer between 2002-2008 were identified. • The SV was defined in two ways: annual caseload (AC) and each surgeons experience (SE) defined as the total number of procedures performed since entering the study until the time of each MIRP.


• The mean and median charges were respectively 38,852 and 31,511 US Dollars. AC ranged from 1-171 and SE varied from 1-500. Overall, 75.7 to 94% of surgeons were in the lowest AC tertile and 27 to 66% of patients were operated by low AC tertile surgeons. • After stratification according to AC tertiles, median charges were 41,564; 33,395 and 26,608 US Dollar for respectively low intermediate and high AC tertile categories. • Multivariable logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations revealed that the probability of charges above the median was reduced by respectively 38 and 68% in patients operated by intermediate SE (17-76 MIRPs) or high SE tertile (≥ 77 MIRPs) surgeons vs. low SE tertile (≤ 16 MIRPs) surgeons.


• High surgical experience reduces MIRP total hospital charges. • Despite this observation, even in 2008, 82% of MIRP surgeons were in the lowest AC tertile and contributed to 32% of all MIRPs.

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