Since the development of single-incision surgery, several retrospective studies have demonstrated its feasibility; however, randomized prospective trials are still lacking. We report a prospective randomized single-blinded trial with a cost analysis of single-incision (SI) to multi-incision (MI) laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
After obtaining IRB approval, patients with chronic cholecystitis, acute cholecystitis, or biliary dyskinesia were offered participation in this multihospital, multisurgeon trial. Consenting patients were computer randomized into either a transumbilical SI or standard MI group; patient data were then entered into a prospective database.
We report 79 patients that were prospectively enrolled and analyzed. Total hospital charges were found to be significantly different between SI and MI groups (MI $15,717 ± $14,231 vs SI $17,817 ± $5,358; p < 0.0001). Broken down further, the following subcharges were found to also be significant: operating room charges (MI $4,445 ± $1,078 vs SI $5,358 ± 893; p < 0.0001); medical/surgical supplies (MI $3,312 ± $6,526 vs SI $5,102 ± $1,529; p < 0.0001); and anesthesia costs (MI $579 ± $7,616 vs SI $820 ± $23,957; p < 0.0001). A validated survey (ie, Surgical Outcomes Measurement System) was used to evaluate various patient quality-of-life parameters at set visits after surgery; scores were statistically equivalent for fatigue, physical function, and satisfaction with results. No difference was found between visual analogue scale scores or inpatient and outpatient pain-medication use.
We show SI surgery to have higher costs than MI surgery with equivalent quality-of-life scores, pain analogue scores, and pain-medication use.