Background: Thoracoscopic lobectomy for primary lung cancer has become increasingly popular worldwide due to several advantages over open lobectomy including reduced pain, reduced length of hospital stay, and comparable oncologic outcomes. The costs of thoracoscopic versus conventional open lobectomy have been compared in several studies with variable results. We compared the costs of thoracoscopic versus open lobectomy in lung cancer patients in Taiwan. Methods: Patients who underwent lobectomy for primary lung cancer from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) between 2004 and 2010 were identified. Patient characteristics, operative data, and costs for each part of the hospitalization for surgery and 30 days of care after discharge were analyzed. Results: A total of 5366 patients with complete clinical data who underwent either conventional open lobectomy (n = 3166, 59 %) or thoracoscopic lobectomy (n = 2200, 41 %) for primary lung cancer were identified from the database. Compared with open lobectomy, thoracoscopic lobectomy was associated with younger age, less comorbidity, shorter anesthesia times, and reduced lengths of hospital stay. Total hospital costs, operative costs, and other costs were significantly higher in the thoracoscopic group. The 30-day after discharge costs were significantly lower in the thoracoscopic group. Conclusions: Thoracoscopic lobectomy for primary lung cancer in Taiwan was associated with higher total hospital costs but lower 30 days after discharge costs than open lobectomy. These differences may have resulted from higher operative and instrument costs in the thoracoscopic group.
Wang, B. Y., Huang, J. Y., Ko, J. L., Lin, C. H., Zhou, Y. H., Huang, C. L., & Liaw, Y. P. (2016). A Population-Based Cost Analysis of Thoracoscopic Versus Open Lobectomy in Primary Lung Cancer. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 23(6), 2094–2098. https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-016-5125-3