A short-term cost-effectiveness study comparing robot-assisted laparoscopic and open retropubic radical prostatectomy.

Journal of medical economics

PubMedID: 21604962

Hohwü L, Borre M, Ehlers L, Venborg Pedersen K. A short-term cost-effectiveness study comparing robot-assisted laparoscopic and open retropubic radical prostatectomy. J Med Econ. 2011;14(4):403-9.
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate cost effectiveness and cost utility comparing robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) versus retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP).

METHODS
In a retrospective cohort study a total of 231 men between the age of 50 and 69 years and with clinically localised prostate cancer underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) at the Department of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2007, were included. The RALP and RRP patients were matched 1:2 on the basis of age and the D'Amico Risk Classification of Prostate Cancer; 77 RALP and 154 RRP. An economic evaluation was made to estimate direct costs of the first postoperative year and an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) per successful surgical treatment and per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). A successful RP was defined as: no residual cancer (PSA <0.2?ng/ml, preserved urinary continence and erectile function. A one-way sensitivity analysis was made to investigate the impact of changing one variable at a time.

RESULTS
The ICER per extra successful treatment was €64,343 using RALP. For indirect costs, the ICER per extra successful treatment was €13,514 using RALP. The difference in effectiveness between RALP and RRP procedures was 7% in favour of RALP. In the present study no QALY was gained 1 year after RALP, however this result is uncertain due to a high degree of missing data. The sensitivity analysis did not change the results noticeably.

LIMITATIONS
The study was limited by the design resulting in a low percentage of information on the effect of medication for erectile dysfunction and only short-term quality of life was measured at 1 year postoperatively.

CONCLUSION
RALP was more effective and more costly. A way to improve the cost effectiveness may be to perform RALP at fewer high volume urology centres and utilise the full potential of each robot.