Increasing Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy: Effect on Cost and Complications

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In a 3-year period, the main mode of access for hysterectomy at Brigham and Women's Hospital changed from abdominal to laparoscopic. We estimated potential effects of this shift on perioperative outcomes and costs.

METHODS:

We compared the perioperative outcomes and the cost of care for all hysterectomies performed in 2006 and 2009 at an urban academic tertiary care center using the χ2 test or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables and two-sided Student's t test for continuous variables. A multivariate regression analysis was also performed for the major perioperative outcomes across the study groups. Cost data were gathered from the hospital's billing system; the remainder of data was extracted from patients' medical records.

RESULTS:

This retrospective study included 2,133 patients. The total number of hysterectomies performed remained stable (1,054 procedures in 2006 compared with 1,079 in 2009) but the relative proportions of abdominal and laparoscopic cases changed markedly during the 3-year period (64.7% to 35.8% for abdominal, P<.001; and 17.7% to 46% for laparoscopic cases, P<.001). The overall rate of intraoperative complications and minor postoperative complications decreased significantly (7.2% to 4%, P<.002; and 18% to 5.7%, P<.001, respectively). Operative costs increased significantly for all procedures aside from robotic hysterectomy, although no significant change was noted in total mean costs.

CONCLUSION:

A change from majority abdominal hysterectomy to minimally invasive hysterectomy was accompanied by a significant decrease in procedure-related complications without an increase in total mean costs.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

II

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