Hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose sheets for the prevention of adhesive complications: a model-based cost-utility analysis

Colorectal Dis. 2021 Aug;23(8):2127-2136. doi: 10.1111/codi.15724. Epub 2021 May 24.


Aim: Clinical trials suggest that hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose (HA/CMC) prevents adhesion-related complications after intra-abdominal surgery, but at a high upfront cost. This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of HA/CMC for patients undergoing curative-intent open colorectal cancer surgery.

Methods: Using a Markov Monte Carlo microsimulation model, we conducted a cost-utility analysis comparing the cost-effectiveness of HA/CMC at curative-intent open colorectal cancer surgery versus standard management. We considered a scenario where HA/CMC was used at the index operation only, as well as where it was used at the index operation and any subsequent operations. The perspective was that of the third-party payer. Costs and utilities were discounted 1.5% annually, with a 1-month cycle length and 5-year time horizon. Model input data were obtained from a literature review. Outcomes included cost, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), small bowel obstructions (SBOs) and operations for SBO.

Results: Using HA/CMC at the index operation results in an incremental cost increase of CA$316 and provides 0.001 additional QALYs, for an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of CA$310,000 per QALY compared to standard management. In our simulated cohort of 10,000 patients, HA/CMC prevented 460 SBOs and 293 surgeries for SBO. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis found that HA/CMC was cost-effective in 18.5% of iterations, at a cost-effectiveness threshold of CA$50,000 per QALY. Results of the scenario analysis where HA/CMC was used at the index operation and any subsequent operations were similar.

Conclusions: Hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose prevents adhesive bowel obstruction after open colorectal cancer surgery but is unlikely to be cost-effective given minimal long-term impact on healthcare costs and QALYs.

Keywords: adhesive bowel obstruction; colorectal cancer surgery; cost-utility analysis; hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose sheets.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives*
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium* / therapeutic use
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years
  • Tissue Adhesions


  • Adhesives
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium