Successful percutaneous access for endovascular aneurysm repair is significantly cheaper than femoral cutdown in a prospective randomized trial

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Objective:Because of its minimally invasive nature, percutaneous femoral access for endovascular aneurysm repair (pEVAR) is currently undergoing rapid popularization. Compared with surgical cutdown for femoral access (cEVAR), it offers the advantage of faster recovery after surgery as well as a reduction in wound complications. Despite proposed advantages, the method is largely considered uneconomical because of its reliance on costly closure devices.Methods:There were 50 patients undergoing EVAR who were enrolled in this randomized prospective single-center trial. Each patient randomly received percutaneous access in one groin and surgical access in the other. The primary end points were access duration and cost. Secondary end points were wound complications and the postoperative pain levels.Results:Surgery was performed per protocol in 44 patients. Mean access times for pEVAR and cEVAR were 11.5 ± 3.4 minutes and 24.8 ± 12.1 minutes (P < .001), respectively. Total access costs were €559.65 ± €112.69 for pEVAR and €674.85 ± €289.55 for cEVAR (P = .016). Eight complications in six patients were attributed to cutdown, none to pEVAR (P = .02). The percutaneously accessed groin was significantly less painful at day 1 and day 5 after surgery (P < .001). An intention-to-treat analysis (N = 50 patients) included six cases of pEVAR conversion due to technical failure in three patients (6%) and change of the operative strategy in another three patients (eg, aortouni-iliac stent graft followed by crossover bypass). The intention-to-treat analysis showed shorter mean overall access time for pEVAR (pEVAR, 14.65 ± 10.20 minutes; cEVAR, 25.12 ± 11.77 minutes; P < .001) and no cost difference between the two methods (pEVAR, €651.29 ± €313.49; cEVAR, €625.53 ± €238.29; P = .65).Conclusions:Our data confirm proposed potential benefits attributable to the minimally invasive nature of pEVAR while demonstrating cost-effectiveness despite the additional cost of closure devices. Taking into account pEVAR failures still does not increase pEVAR costs over cEVAR. Further considering reduced postoperative pain and wound complications, the technique deserves consideration in suitable patients.

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