Aim The issue of cost effectiveness of laparoscopic surgery remains uncertain and its impact on the ward nursing staff is unaddressed. This study investigated these issues using patients from a single centre admitted to a randomized controlled trial. Method All patients recruited into the Australasian Laparoscopic Colon Cancer Study (ALCCaS) from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital between January 1999 and March 2005 were included in this study. Data relating to hospital cost were collated from the Hospital Patient Costing System. Nursing interventions were calculated in minutes per patient, using the excelcare Software database. Results Data from 97 patients were analysed (laparoscopy, 53; open surgery, 44). The median number of hours of nursing input per patient was 80 (27.5-907) h in the open surgery group and 58.5 (15-684.5) h in the laparoscopy group. This difference was further increased after exclusion of patients converted from laparoscopy to open surgery. The median total cost of the procedure was AUS$9698/£5631 (AUS$3862-90397) in the open surgery group and AUS$10951/£6219 (AUS$2337-66237) in the laparoscopy group. Conclusion These data suggest that laparoscopic colorectal surgery is equivalent in price to open surgery and there may be added benefits in reduced nursing intensity.
- Colorectal cancer