Endoscopic spine surgery is more expensive for hospitals than open procedures, study shows


Endoscopic spine surgery costs more for hospitals than open surgical procedures but is associated with fewer complications for patients, according to a study published in the January edition of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.

Researchers examined data from 633 open and 195 endoscopic decompression lumbar surgical procedures that were performed from 2016 to 2022. The average age of patients undergoing open procedures was 55.7 years old, compared to 59.4 years old for patients undergoing the endoscopic procedure.

Researchers found:

1. Endoscopic procedures were more costly for hospitals, with disposable supplies accounting for 31.7% of the total cost of cases, compared to 10.1% of the cost for open procedures.

2. A multivariate linear regression independently associated endoscopic procedures with higher total costs.

3. Patients who underwent the open procedures had longer hospital stays, at 1.4 days on average, compared to less than a day for patients who underwent the endoscopic procedure.

4. Nearly 8% of patients who underwent the open procedure reported perioperative complications, compared to 3.1% of the endoscopic patients.

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