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Cost Analysis of Vaginal Anti-incontinence Procedures at a Tertiary Care Center

      Abstract

      Objective

      To compare the cost of 3 vaginal procedures used in the surgical management of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) at 1 tertiary institution.

      Methods

      The costs of autologous fascial sling (AFS), synthetic mid-urethral sling (MUS), and anterior vaginal wall suspension (AVWS) were analyzed from a prospective long-term database, with follow-up to 5 years after these procedures. Original costing data were obtained for operating room, medical and surgical supplies, pharmacy, anesthesia supplies, and room and bed over 2 consecutive years. Included were complete cost data provided by our institution from Medicare (2012) and private payer insurance.

      Results

      For the year 2013, the AVWS, AFS, and MUS had total median costs of $4513, $5721, and $3311, respectively. Total cost and all subcosts except for pharmacy costs were significantly different for each procedure. AVWS and MUS placement differed from each other regarding the cost of anesthesia and hospital stay, which was higher for AVWS. Compared to AFS, AVWS had significantly lower total costs due to decreased costs associated with operating time, hospital stay, and surgical supplies (P <.0001). At 5 years after these procedures, synthetic slings had less frequent follow-up visits. The most common revision for SUI failure was a bulking agent injection.

      Conclusion

      Initial costs of vaginal SUI procedures at our institution fared favorably compared to SUI procedures reported in the contemporary US literature. Long-term costs can vary based on physician preference in follow-up routine and etiology of SUI.
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