A cost analysis of operative repair of major laparoscopic bile duct injuries

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Major bile duct injuries occur infrequently after laparoscopic cholecystectomy but may result in life-threatening complications. Few data exist about the financial implications of bile duct repair. This study calculated the total inhospital costs of operative repair in a cohort of patients who underwent reconstruction of the bile duct after major ductal injury sustained during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. A prospective database was reviewed to identify all patients referred to the University of Cape Town Private Academic Hospital between 2002 and 2013 for assessment and repair of major laparoscopic bile duct injuries. The detailed clinical records and billing information were evaluated to determine all costs from admission to discharge. Total costs for each patient were adjusted for inflation between the year of repair and 2013. Forty four patients (33 women, 11 men, median age 48 years, range 30 - 78) underwent reconstruction of a major bile duct injury. First time repairs were performed at a median of 24.5 days (range 1 - 3662) after initial surgery. Median hospital stay was 15 days (range 6-86). Mean cost of repair was R215 711 (range R68 764 - 980 830). Major contributors to cost were theatre expenses (22%), admission to intensive care (21%), radiology (17%) and specialist fees (12%). Admission to a general ward (10%), consumables (7%), pharmacy (5%), endoscopy (3%) and laboratory costs (3%) made up the balance. The cost of repair of a major laparoscopic bile duct injury is substantial due to prolonged admission to hospital, complex surgical intervention and intensive imaging requirements.

Includes bibliographical references