A study of patients showed that there was a 65% reduction in readmissions of women who had a minimally invasive hysterectomy versus those who had a traditional "open" procedure.41 The study also showed there was a 50% reduction in nosocomial infection rate.41 During a traditional approach, a large incision is made across the abdomen, leaving a large scar. But with a minimally invasive hysterectomy, which only requires small ¾-inch incisions, there is significantly less scarring or no scarring at all. In general, when compared with patients treated with a total abdominal hysterectomy, women who undergo a hysterectomy using minimally invasive techniques can usually expect:
Minimally invasive techniques for hysterectomies benefit employers and health plans by lowering overall expenditures. While an open hysterectomy costs an average of $11,739 in a hospital setting, an outpatient laparoscopic hysterectomy is $9,426 and vaginal hysterectomy only $7,627.63
With minimally invasive surgery for hysterectomy, payors may have an opportunity to improve quality while also lowering expenditures. While patients may benefit from a better overall medical experience, the key advantage of minimally invasive procedures for employers and health plans is the quicker recovery period. A meta-analysis reported that minimally invasive, laparoscopic assisted surgeries compared to abdominal hysterectomy reduced:
And minimally invasive vaginal hysterectomies reduced:20
Many of the working women who undergo hysterectomies using minimally invasive techniques are able resume normal function at home and at work sooner than traditional abdominal hysterectomy.
As for working family members of the patient, many must use Family and Medical Leave Act benefits or personal time to stay home and assist during recuperation. But family members of minimally invasive hysterectomy patients can often take fewer days off and return to work sooner because of a quicker recovery.54
See your carrier for more information.