Background: Video-assisted thoracic surgical (VATS) lobectomies and wedge resections result in less morbidity and shorter length of stay than resections via thoracotomy. The impact of robot-assisted thoracic surgical (RATS) lobectomy on clinical and economic outcomes has not been examined. This study compared hospital costs and clinical outcomes for VATS lobectomies and wedge resections versus RATS. Methods: Using the Premier hospital database, patients aged ≥18 years with a record of thoracoscopic lobectomy, segmental resection, or excision of a lesion or tissue from the lung between 2009 and 2011 were identified. Procedures using robotic technology were identified if 1 of 2 conditions were met: (1) a robotic International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision procedure code or (2) the text fields in the hospital record indicated that the robot was used. Using a propensity score and based on severity and comorbidities, certain demographics and hospital characteristics were matched. The association between VATS or RATS and adverse events, hospital costs, surgery time, and length of stay was examined. Results: Of 15,502 patient records analyzed, 96% (n = 14,837) were performed without robotic assistance. Using robotic assistance was associated with higher average hospital costs per patient. The average cost of inpatient procedures with RATS was $25,040.70 versus $20,476.60 for VATS (P =.0001) for lobectomies and $19,592.40 versus $16,600.10 (P =.0001) for wedge resections, respectively. Inpatient operating times were longer for RATS lobectomy than VATS lobectomy (4.49 hours vs 4.23 hours; P =.0959) and wedge resection (3.26 vs 2.86 hours; P =.0003). Length of stay was similar with no differences in adverse events. Conclusions: RATS lobectomy and wedge resection seem to have higher hospital costs and longer operating times, without any differences in adverse events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine