Cost-effectiveness of universal cystoscopy to identify ureteral injury at hysterectomy.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of routine cystoscopy at the time of abdominal, vaginal, and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy in terms of cost per ureteral injury identified and treated. METHODS: Using a hospital-based perspective, a decision-analysis model was constructed to estimate the outcomes and costs of cystoscopy or no cystoscopy at the time of abdominal hysterectomy. A similar model was constructed for vaginal and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy to account for the cost of conversion to laparotomy. Cost estimates were based on estimated costs of Duke University Medical Center and from average Medicare reimbursements for similar Diagnostic Related Groups from the Health Care Financing Administration. The incidence of ureteral injury was obtained from a review of the literature. Sensitivity analyses were performed for the following variables: ureteral injury rate, silent ureteral injury rate, cost of cystoscopy, and cost of therapeutic interventions. We assumed a silent renal death rate of 0%. RESULTS: Routine cystoscopy at abdominal hysterectomy was cost-saving above a threshold ureteral injury rate of 1.5%. At a ureteral injury rate of 0.2%, the marginal increase in the cost of routine intraoperative cystoscopy was $108 per abdominal hysterectomy, with an associated cost of $54,000 per ureteral injury identified. In comparison, at a ureteral injury rate of 2%, routine cystoscopy gave a marginal cost savings of $44 per hysterectomy, with a cost savings of $2200 per ureteral injury identified intraoperatively. At the baseline ureteral injury rate of 0.5%, routine cystoscopy had a marginally increased cost of $83 per hysterectomy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness of $16,600 spent per ureteral injury identified. The model constructed for vaginal hysterectomy and laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy yielded a threshold ureteral injury rate of 2%, above which routine cystoscopy was cost-saving. In both models, the incidence of ureteral injury and the cost of readmission were the two variables with the greatest influence on cost-effectiveness. CONCLUSION: The cost-effectiveness of routine intraoperative cystoscopy depends on the rate of ureteral injury independent of the route of hysterectomy. If that rate exceeds 1.5% for abdominal hysterectomy and 2% for vaginal or laparoscopically assisted vaginal hysterectomy, then routine cystoscopy is cost-effective.
Visco, AG; Taber, KH; Weidner, AC; Barber, MD; Myers, ER
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