Laparoscopic nephrectomy is cost effective compared with open nephrectomy in a large county hospital.

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the experience with laparoscopic nephrectomy in a large county hospital and perform a cost comparison between uncomplicated open and laparoscopic nephrectomy. METHODS: Eleven consecutive patients who underwent an uncomplicated laparoscopic nephrectomy in a large county hospital were compared with 8 patients who underwent uncomplicated open nephrectomy during the same period. Patient charts and corresponding billing records were reviewed to determine overall hospitalization cost and individual cost components. RESULTS: No perioperative complications occurred in either the laparoscopic or open group, and no statistically significant differences existed between groups with regard to patient demographics or operative parameters. The overall operating room costs favored the open nephrectomy group by dollars 1070 (P=0.003). However, the overall cost of hospitalization, surgeon professional fees, duration of hospitalization, room and board costs, laboratory, and radiology costs, pharmacy costs, intravenous solution and infusion pump costs all significantly favored the laparoscopic patient group. The mean difference in overall hospital cost between laparoscopic and open nephrectomy was dollars 1211 in favor of laparoscopy (P=0.037). CONCLUSIONS: Our experience with laparoscopic nephrectomy in a large county hospital demonstrates a clear economic advantage in favor of the laparoscopic approach. Given limited funding for public hospitals and a clear patient benefit, laparoscopic nephrectomy should constitute first-line therapy when nephrectomy is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalJSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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