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J Endourol. 2013 May;27(5):560-5. doi: 10.1089/end.2012.0462. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Comparing costs of robotic, laparoscopic, and open partial nephrectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Abstract Background and Purpose: Laparoscopic and robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (LPN and RPN) are common minimally invasive alternatives to open partial nephrectomy (OPN) for management of renal tumors. Cost discrepancies of these approaches warrants evaluation. We compared hospital costs associated with RPN, LPN, and OPN.


Costs were captured for 25 patients in each group who underwent RPN, LPN, or OPN at our institution between November 2008 and September 2010. Variable costs included operating room (OR) time, supplies, anesthesia, and inpatient care costs. Fixed costs included equipment purchase and maintenance. Impact of variable and fixed costs were estimated using sensitivity analysis.


Overall variable costs were similar for RPN, LPN, and OPN ($6375 vs $6075 vs $5774, P=0.117, respectively). OR supplies contributed a greater cost for RPN and LPN than OPN ($2179 vs $1987 vs $181, P<0.0001, respectively), while inpatient stay costs were higher for OPN compared with LPN and RPN ($2418 vs $1305 vs $1274, P<0.0001, respectively). Sensitivity analysis of variable costs demonstrates that RPN and LPN can represent less costly alternatives to OPN if hospital stay for RPN and LPN is ≤2 days and OR time <195 and 224 minutes, respectively. Inclusion of fixed costs made OPN less expensive than LPN and RPN unless use of the robot increases and operative times are reduced.


By minimizing OR time and hospital stay, RPN and LPN can be cost equivalent to OPN regarding variable costs. When including fixed costs, RPN and LPN were more costly than OPN, but equivalence may be possible with improvements in efficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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