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Robotic Surgery for Hysterectomy Often Not Best Option, Ob/Gyn Group Says
Date:3/15/2013

horter recovery than TAH, and these two methods also have proven track records for good patient outcomes and cost efficiency, according to Breeden.

"Patients should be advised that robotic hysterectomy is best used for unusual and complex clinical conditions in which improved outcomes over standard minimally invasive approaches have been demonstrated," Breeden said.

He noted that robotic hysterectomy is the most expensive method, with a price of more than $1.7 million per robot, $125,000 in annual maintenance costs, and up to $2,000 per surgery for the cost of single-use surgical instruments.

One recent study found that the percentage of hysterectomies performed robotically rose from less than 0.5 percent to nearly 10 percent over the past three years. Another study of more than 264,000 hysterectomy patients found that robotic surgery added an average of $2,000 per procedure without any proven benefit, Breeden said.

Hysterectomy -- removal of the uterus -- is one of the most common major surgeries in the United States and costs the nation's health care system more than $5 billion a year.

"If most women undergoing hysterectomy for benign conditions each year chose a vaginal or laparoscopic procedure -- rather than TAH or robotic hysterectomy -- performed by skilled and experienced surgeons, pain and recovery times would be reduced while providing dramatic savings to our health care system. Conversely, an estimated $960 million to $1.9 billion will be added to the health care system if robotic surgery is used for all hysterectomies each year," Breeden said.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about hysterectomy.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, news release, Mar
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Robotic Surgery for Hysterectomy Often Not Best Option, Ob/Gyn Group Says
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