European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2016 12 22() pii ezw378
Today, both surgical and percutaneous techniques are available for pulmonary valve implantation in patients with right ventricle outflow tract obstruction or insufficiency. In this controlled, non-randomized study the hospital costs per patient of the two treatment options were identified and compared.
During the period of June 2011 until October 2014 cost data in 20 patients treated with the percutaneous technique and 14 patients treated with open surgery were consecutively included. Two methods for cost analysis were used, a retrospective average cost estimate (overhead costs) and a direct prospective detailed cost acquisition related to each individual patient (patient-specific costs).
The equipment cost, particularly the stents and valve itself was by far the main cost-driving factor in the percutaneous pulmonary valve group, representing 96% of the direct costs, whereas in the open surgery group the main costs derived from the postoperative care and particularly the stay in the intensive care department. The device-related cost in this group represented 13.5% of the direct costs. Length-of-stay-related costs in the percutaneous group were mean $3885 (1618) and mean $17 848 (5060) in the open surgery group. The difference in postoperative stay between the groups was statistically significant (P≤ 0.001).
Given the high postoperative cost in open surgery, the percutaneous procedure could be cost saving even with a device cost of more than five times the cost of the surgical device.