Cost-minimization study of the percutaneous approach to endovascular aortic aneurysm repair

J Vasc Surg. 2020 Feb;71(2):444-449. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2019.03.040. Epub 2019 Jun 5.


Objective: Percutaneous access for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (P-EVAR) is less invasive compared with surgical access for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (S-EVAR). P-EVAR has been associated with shorter recovery and fewer wound complications. However, vascular closure devices (VCDs) are costly, and the economic effects of P-EVAR have important implications for resource allocation. The objective of our study was to estimate the differences in the costs between P-EVAR and S-EVAR.

Methods: We used a decision tree to analyze the costs from a payer perspective throughout the course of the index hospitalization. The probabilities, relative risks, and mean difference summary measures were obtained from a systematic review and meta-analysis. We modelled differences in surgical site infection, lymphocele, and the length of hospitalization. Cost parameters were derived from the 2014 National Inpatient Sample using "International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification" codes. Attributable costs were estimated using generalized linear models adjusted by age, sex, and comorbidities. A sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the robustness of the results.

Results: A total of 6876 abdominal and thoracic EVARs were identified. P-EVAR resulted in a mean cost savings of $751 per procedure. The mean costs for P-EVAR were $1287 (95% confidence interval [CI], $884-$1835) and for S-EVAR were $2038 (95% CI, $757-$4280). P-EVAR procedures were converted to open procedures in 4.3% of the cases. The P-EVAR patients had a difference of -1.4 days (95% CI, -0.12 to -2.68) in the length of hospitalization at a cost of $1190/d (standard error, $298). The cost savings of P-EVAR was primarily driven by the cost differences in the length of hospitalization. In the base case, four VCDs were used per P-EVAR at $200/device. In the two-way sensitivity analysis, P-EVAR resulted in cost savings, even when 1.5 times more VCDs had been used per procedure and the cost of each VCD was 1.5 times greater. In our probabilistic sensitivity analysis, P-EVAR was the cost savings strategy for 82.6% of 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations when simultaneously varying parameters across their uncertainty ranges.

Conclusions: P-EVAR had lower costs compared with S-EVAR and could result in dramatic cost savings if extrapolated to the number of aortic aneurysms repaired. Our analysis was a conservative estimate that did not account for the improved quality of life after P-EVAR.

Keywords: Closure device; Cost analysis; PEVAR; Perclose.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm / economics*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Cost Savings*
  • Decision Trees
  • Endovascular Procedures / economics*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vascular Closure Devices / economics*