The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures: A cost analysis of 1200 patients

René Vonlanthen, Ksenija Slankamenac, Stefan Breitenstein, Milo A. Puhan, Markus K. Muller, Dieter Hahnloser, Dimitri Hauri, Rolf Graf, Pierre Alain Clavien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: To assess the impact of postoperative complications on full in-hospital costs per case. BACKGROUND:: Rising expenses for complex medical procedures combined with constrained resources represent a major challenge. The severity of postoperative complications reflects surgical outcomes. The magnitude of the cost created by negative outcomes is unclear. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Morbidity of 1200 consecutive patients undergoing major surgery from 2005 to 2008 in a tertiary, high-volume center was assessed by a validated, complication score system. Full in-hospital costs were collected for each patient. Statistical analysis was performed using a multivariate linear regression model adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS:: This study population included 393 complex liver/bile duct surgeries, 110 major pancreas operations, 389 colon resections, and 308 Roux-en-Y gastric bypasses. The overall 30-day mortality rate was 1.8%, whereas morbidity was 53.8%. Patients with an uneventful course had mean costs per case of US$ 27,946 (SD US$ 15,106). Costs increased dramatically with the severity of postoperative complications and reached the mean costs of US$ 159,345 (SD US$ 151,191) for grade IV complications. This increase in costs, up to 5 times the cost of a similar operation without complications, was observed for all types of investigated procedures, although the magnitude of the increase varied, with the highest costs in patients undergoing pancreas surgery. CONCLUSION:: This study demonstrates the dramatic impact of postoperative complications on full in-hospital costs per case and that complications are the strongest indicator of costs. Furthermore, the study highlights a relevant savings capacity for major surgical procedures, and supports all efforts to lower negative events in the postoperative course. Copyright C

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-913
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Volume254
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

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Costs and Cost Analysis
Hospital Costs
Pancreas
Linear Models
Morbidity
Gastric Bypass
Bile Ducts
Colon
Mortality
Liver
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Vonlanthen, R., Slankamenac, K., Breitenstein, S., Puhan, M. A., Muller, M. K., Hahnloser, D., ... Clavien, P. A. (2011). The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures: A cost analysis of 1200 patients. Annals of Surgery, 254(6), 907-913. https://doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e31821d4a43

The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures : A cost analysis of 1200 patients. / Vonlanthen, René; Slankamenac, Ksenija; Breitenstein, Stefan; Puhan, Milo A.; Muller, Markus K.; Hahnloser, Dieter; Hauri, Dimitri; Graf, Rolf; Clavien, Pierre Alain.

In: Annals of Surgery, Vol. 254, No. 6, 12.2011, p. 907-913.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vonlanthen, R, Slankamenac, K, Breitenstein, S, Puhan, MA, Muller, MK, Hahnloser, D, Hauri, D, Graf, R & Clavien, PA 2011, 'The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures: A cost analysis of 1200 patients', Annals of Surgery, vol. 254, no. 6, pp. 907-913. https://doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e31821d4a43
Vonlanthen R, Slankamenac K, Breitenstein S, Puhan MA, Muller MK, Hahnloser D et al. The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures: A cost analysis of 1200 patients. Annals of Surgery. 2011 Dec;254(6):907-913. https://doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e31821d4a43
Vonlanthen, René ; Slankamenac, Ksenija ; Breitenstein, Stefan ; Puhan, Milo A. ; Muller, Markus K. ; Hahnloser, Dieter ; Hauri, Dimitri ; Graf, Rolf ; Clavien, Pierre Alain. / The impact of complications on costs of major surgical procedures : A cost analysis of 1200 patients. In: Annals of Surgery. 2011 ; Vol. 254, No. 6. pp. 907-913.
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AU - Muller, Markus K.

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