[preamble]Knew this was coming – no way can an expensive robot designed to make the manufacturer money will lower costs. MAYBE better outcomes but as we can see – nope. Hence, is not this increasing the cost of healthcare? Do we not think I am paying enough? What happened to GOOD surgeons?[backtopost]
September 10, 2013 | By Ashley Gold
Increasingly troubling news about robotic surgery continues to emerge. This time, a study published recently in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that robotic cases cost substantially more than laparoscopic cases of hysterectomy, despite no apparent safety benefits.
After identifying women who underwent robotic or laparoscopic surgery for benign disease in 2009 and 2010, and using propensity scores based on in-hospital complications, hospital length of stay, and hospital changes, the study authors have determined that the perioperative outcomes are similar between the two modes of surgery, but that robotic surgery costs close to $2,500 more to a hospital, per patient.
“Unfortunately, the greater costs associated with robotic-assisted hysterectomy were not reflected in improvement in outcomes,” the researchers, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, say, according to Bloomberg.
In March, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that robotic surgery for hysterectomies should not be a first or even second choice for women undergoing routine procedures, due, in part, to the learning curve associated with the robotic system. That same month, health officials in Massachusetts sent a letter outlining safety concerns about robotic surgery after two damaging incidents involving robots performing hysterectomies.