Cost-effectiveness Evaluation of Laparoscopic Versus Robotic Minimally Invasive Colectomy

Vlad V. Simianu, Wolfgang B. Gaertner, Karen Kuntz, Mary R. Kwaan, Ann C. Lowry, Robert D. Madoff, Christine C. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of open, laparoscopic, and robotic colectomy. BACKGROUND: The use of robotic-assisted colon surgery is increasing. Robotic technology is more expensive and whether a robotically assisted approach is cost-effective remains to be determined. METHODS: A decision-analytic model was constructed to evaluate the 1-year costs and quality-adjusted time between robotic, laparoscopic, and open colectomy. Model inputs were derived from available literature for costs, quality of life (QOL), and outcomes. Results are presented as incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), defined as incremental costs per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to test the effect of clinically reasonable variations in the inputs on our results. RESULTS: Open colectomy cost more and achieved lower QOL than robotic and laparoscopic approaches. From the societal perspective, robotic colectomy costs $745 more per case than laparoscopy, resulting in an ICER of $2,322,715/QALY because of minimal differences in QOL. From the healthcare sector perspective, robotics cost $1339 more per case with an ICER of $4,174,849/QALY. In both models, laparoscopic colectomy was more frequently cost-effective across a wide range of willingness-to-pay thresholds. Sensitivity analyses suggest robotic colectomy becomes cost-effective at $100,000/QALY if robotic disposable instrument costs decrease below $1341 per case, robotic operating room time falls below 172 minutes, or robotic hernia rate is less than 5%. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic and robotic colectomy are more cost-effective than open resection. Robotics can surpass laparoscopy in cost-effectiveness by achieving certain thresholds in QOL, instrument costs, and postoperative outcomes. With increased use of robotic technology in colorectal surgery, there is a burden to demonstrate these benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Journal Article


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