Cost Analysis of Robotic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass in a Single Academic Center: How Expensive Is Expensive?

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Obesity surgery


BACKGROUND: Although the use of da Vinci robotic platforms in bariatric surgery is gaining momentum, it is still controversial because of financial concerns. OBJECTIVES: The objective of our study is to evaluate the cost of robotically assisted Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (R-RYGB) versus conventional laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (L-RYGB). METHODS: We analyzed consecutive primary bariatric patients who underwent R-RYGB and compared them with patients who underwent L-RYGB during the same time period. Primary outcomes were overall cost for length of stay, operating time, and supplies. Direct cost data was generated using the StrataJazz reporting module, which is fed daily from EPIC, our electronic health record system, and contains hospital-based data only. Secondary outcomes were 30-day rates of complications, reoperations, and readmissions. RESULTS: We found no difference in primary or secondary outcomes following R-RYGB and L-RYGB. The overall cost for R-RYGB and L-RYGB was not statistically different (median total cost for R-RYGB and L-RYBG was $6431.34 and $6349.09, P > 0.05, respectively). Operating time cost was significantly higher for R-RYGB compared with L-RYGB ($2248.51 versus $19,836.29, respectively, P < 0.0001, respectively). R-RYGB had lower cost of supplies as well as a shorter length of stay compared with L-RYGB (mean 1.5 versus 1.7 days, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed no cost difference between R-RYGB and L-RYGB, with a decreased cost of supplies and trend toward lower hospital stay favoring R-RYGB. Further studies are needed to evaluate the outcomes of R-RYGB compared with L-RYGB; however, the cost of robotic surgery may not be a prohibitive factor.

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