Educating surgeons on intraoperative disposable supply costs during laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a regional health system's experience

Am J Surg. 2015 Mar;209(3):488-92. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2014.09.023. Epub 2014 Dec 17.


Background: Surgeons play a crucial role in the cost efficiency of the operating room through total operative time, use of supplies, and patient outcomes. This study aimed to examine the effect of surgeon education on disposable supply usage during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Methods: Surgeons were educated about the cost of disposable equipments without incentives for achieved cost reductions. Surgical supply costs for laparoscopic cholecystectomy in fiscal year (FY) 2013 were compared with FY 2014.

Results: The average disposable supply cost per laparoscopic cholecystectomy was reduced from $589 (n = 586) in FY 2013 to $531 (n = 428) in FY 2014, representing a 10% reduction in supply costs (P < .001). Adjustments included reduction in the use of expensive fascial closure devices, clip appliers, suction irrigators, and specimen retrieval bags.

Conclusions: Disposable equipment cost for laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be reduced by surgeon education. These techniques can likely be used to reduce costs in an array of specialties and procedures.

Keywords: Cost; Disposable supply; Laparoscopic cholecystectomy; Operating room; Savings; Surgeon education.

MeSH terms

  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / economics*
  • Cholecystectomy, Laparoscopic / education
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disposable Equipment / economics*
  • Hospital Costs / trends*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Operating Rooms / economics*
  • Operative Time
  • Regional Health Planning / economics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgeons / education*