New technologies such as robotic-assisted surgery are constantly introduced clinically without a complete understanding of benefits and costs. This article will discuss general concepts of health economics and apply them to the application of robotic-assisted surgery to urologic procedures. Utilization of robotic surgery has increased dramatically in recent years. This has been most dramatic in the treatment of prostate cancer. The robot adds significant costs from acquisition, maintenance and recurrent instrument costs. These added costs, thus far, have not been associated with significant improvement in outcomes over 'pure laparoscopy or open procedures. In order for the robot to be cost effective, there needs to be an improvement in efficacy over alternative approaches, and a decrease in costs of the robot or instrumentation. Robotic surgery has not been found to be cost effective in urology. Future studies may yet reveal indirect benefits that are not yet obvious.
- health economics
- robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy
- robotic-assisted surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering