Factors that affect cost and clinical outcome of endovascular aortic repair for abdominal aortic aneurysm

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Abstract

Objective:

This study evaluated the effect of indication for use (IFU), additional graft components, and percutaneous closure of endovascular aortic repair (PEVAR) on clinical outcomes and cost of endovascular aortic repair (EVAR).

Methods:

Clinical and financial data were obtained for all elective EVARs completed at a university-affiliated medical center between January 2012 and June 2013. Data were analyzed by χ2, Student t-test for independent samples, and Kaplan-Meier survival.

Results:

There were 67 elective EVARs. Additional cuffs/extensions were used in 37%, increasing the baseline graft cost by 36% (P < .001), total costs by 20% (P < .001), and negatively affecting the contribution margin. Aortic neck IFU (P = .02), failure of the index graft to seal the neck (P = .02), and need for an additional cuff (P = .008) were related to the need for reintervention for type Ia endoleak for graft B (Excluder; W. L. Gore and Associates, Flagstaff, Ariz), whereas limb IFU was related to the need for additional limb extension for graft A (Powerlink; Endologix, Irvine, Calif; P < .001). Limb extension (P = .06) and failure of the index graft to provide an adequate seal (P < .001) were associated with reintervention for type Ib endoleak. Reintervention-free rates at 24 months were 96% for graft A and 94% for graft B (P =.54), but different patterns in reintervention emerged: graft A required reoperation early (<2 months) then stabilized; graft B did not require reintervention until 24 months, but rates increased substantially by 25 months. PEVAR was attempted in 61 (91%): 49 (73%) bilaterally, 7 (10%) unilaterally, and 5 (8%) failed. The mean number of closure devices was four (range, 1–9): $1000 (3.5% of total cost). Bilateral PEVAR was associated with shorter operating time than unilateral PEVAR/failed PEVAR (P < .001) and lower operating room use costs (P = .005) and total hospital costs (P = .003) than failed PEVAR. The contribution margin was higher for bilateral PEVAR than unilateral PEVAR/failed PEVAR (P = .005). Patients with bilateral PEVAR and unilateral PEVAR were more often discharged on postoperative day 1 than those with failed PEVAR (P = .002). Hospital length of stay (P = .49), operating room duration (P = .31), and total costs (P = .72) were similar for unsuccessful PEVAR and EVAR completed with cutdown.

Conclusions:

Higher rates of reintervention occurred when EVAR was performed outside of IFU guidelines or when additional components were needed. Additions raised graft costs significantly above baseline. Notable differences in graft performance in complex anatomy and varied patterns of reoperation could be useful in the graft selection process to improve outcome and contain costs. Bilateral PEVAR was associated with lower costs and postoperative day 1 discharge. Attempting PEVAR may be reasonable unless there is serious concern for failure.

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