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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2017 Sep 1;25(3):469-475. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivx149.

The affordability of minimally invasive procedures in major lung resection: a prospective study.

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Department of Pharmacy, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen, France.
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen, France.
Department of General and Thoracic Surgery, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen, France.
Department of Pharmacy, UNIROUEN, Inserm U1234, Rouen University Hospital, Normandie University, Rouen, France.
Department of Pharmacy, Inserm U791, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes University, Nantes, France.
Department of General and Thoracic Surgery, UNIROUEN, Inserm U1096, Rouen University Hospital, Normandie University, Rouen, France.



Minimally invasive procedures are used for the surgical treatment of lung cancer. Two techniques are proposed: video-assisted thoracic surgery or robotic-assisted thoracic surgery. Our goal was to study the economic impact of our long-standing program for minimally invasive procedures for major lung resection.


We conducted a single-centre, 1-year prospective cost study. Patients who underwent lobectomy or segmentectomy were included. Patient characteristics and perioperative outcomes were collected. Medical supply expenses based on the microcosting method and capital depreciation were estimated. Total cost was evaluated using a national French database.


One hundred twelve patients were included, 57 with and 55 without robotic assistance. More segmentectomies were performed with robotic assistance. The median length of stay was 5 days for robotic-assisted and 6 days for video-assisted procedures (P = 0.13). The duration of median chest drains (4 days, P = 0.36) and of operating room time (255 min, P = 0.55) was not significantly different between the groups. The overall conversion rate to thoracotomy was 9%, significantly higher in the video-assisted group than in the robotic group (16% vs 2%, P = 0.008). No difference was observed in postoperative complications. The cost of most robotic-assisted procedures ranged from €10 000 to €12 000 (median €10 972) and that of most video-assisted procedures ranged from €8 000 to €10 000 (median €9 637) (P = 0.007); median medical supply expenses were €3 236 and €2 818, respectively (P = 0.004). The overall mean cost of minimally invasive techniques (€11 759) was significantly lower than the mean French cost of lung resection surgical procedures (€13 424) (P = 0.001).


The cost at our centre of performing minimally invasive surgical procedures appeared lower than the cost nationwide. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery demonstrated acceptable additional costs for a long-standing program.


Cost; Lung resection; Minimally invasive surgery; Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery; Video-assisted thoracic surgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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