Cost analysis for thoracoscopy: thoracoscopic wedge resection

Ann Thorac Surg. 1993 Sep;56(3):633-5. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(93)90934-a.


Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) procedures are now being performed with increasing frequency. The instrumentation and video equipment continue to evolve and much of this new technology is expensive. We reviewed our experience with VATS in our most recent 150 cases for the purpose of cost analysis. The costs incurred in patients undergoing VATS wedge resection for nodules (n = 45) were compared with those in similar patients having wedge resection using open techniques (n = 31). We found that patients who undergo open resections were more likely to spend time in the intensive care unit after surgery. The anesthesia costs were similar in the two groups. Disposable instrument costs were $623 higher for VATS resection; however, the operative time was shorter (101.4 minutes for VATS versus 122.5 minutes for the open procedure), making the total operating room costs comparable. The length of hospital stay was shorter after VATS resection (4.4 days for VATS versus 6.5 days for the open procedure), resulting in lower total hospital charges in the VATS group; however, this difference was not statistically significant. The cost of a VATS wedge resection for removing peripheral nodules is competitive with that of open techniques. Additional benefits, such as reduced pain, shorter operating times, and decreased hospital stays, make thoracoscopy a valuable diagnostic tool. The length of hospital stay, operating room time, disposable instrument costs, complications, and patient acuity all have an impact on the total costs and vary for different procedures. The operative time has shortened and the use of disposable instrumentation has lessened as our experience with thoracoscopy has increased.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Disposable Equipment / economics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Lung / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / surgery*
  • Television*
  • Thoracic Surgery / economics
  • Thoracic Surgery / methods
  • Thoracoscopy / economics*
  • Time Factors