Surgical Techniques

Cost-conscious minimally invasive hysterectomy: A case illustration

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This case demonstrates the importance of knowing which surgical tools are available to you and then providing value by considering cost without compromising safety or the best chance of a good outcome



CASE Cost-conscious benign laparoscopic hysterectomy

A 43-year-old woman undergoes laparoscopic hysterectomy for treatment of presumed benign uterine fibroids and menorrhagia. Once she is prepped with ChloraPrep with tint, a RUMI II uterine manipulator is placed. Laparoscopic ports include a Kii Balloon Blunt Tip system, a Versaport Plus Pyramidal Bladed Trocar, and 2 Kii Fios First Entry trocars.

The surgeon uses the Harmonic ACE +7 device (a purely ultrasonic device) to perform most of the procedure. The uterus is morcellated and removed using the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Olympus Contained Tissue Extraction System, and the vaginal cuff is closed using a series of 2-0 PDS II sutures. Skin incisions are closed using Dermabond skin adhesive.

Total cost of the products used in this case: $1,592.40. Could different product choices have reduced this figure?

Health-care costs continue to rise faster than inflation: Total health-care expenditures account for approximately 18% of gross domestic product in the United States. Physicians therefore face increasing pressure to take cost into account in their care of patients.1 Cost-effectiveness and outcome quality continue to increase in importance as measures in many clinical trials that compare standard and alternative therapies. And women’s health—specifically, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery—invites such comparisons.

Overall, conventional laparoscopic gynecologic procedures tend to cost less than laparotomy, a consequence of shorter hospital stays, faster recovery, and fewer complications.2-5 What is not fully appreciated, however, is how choice of laparoscopic instrumentation and associated products affects surgical costs. In this article, which revisits and updates a 2013 OBG Management examination of cost-consciousness in the selection of equipment and supplies for minimally invasive gynecologic surgery,6 we review these costs in 2018. Our goal is to raise awareness of the role of cost in care among minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons.

In the sections that follow, we highlight several aspects of laparoscopic gynecologic surgery that can affect your selection of instruments and products, describing differences in cost as well as some distinctive characteristics of products. Note that our comparisons focus solely on cost—not on ease of utility, effectiveness, surgical technique, risk of complications, or any other assessment. Note also that numerous other instruments and devices are commercially available besides those we list.

Importantly, 2013 and 2018 costs are included in TABLE 1. Unless otherwise noted, costs are per unit. Changes in manufacturers and material costs and technologic advances have contributed to some, but not all, of the changes in cost between 2013 and 2018.

Continue to: Variables to keep in mind


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