Minimally Invasive Surgery Benefits and Outcomes

Benefits + Outcomes

Minimally Invasive Surgery Benefits & Outcomes

The facts are clear – minimally invasive procedures can offer real, measurable benefits for patients, providers, health plans and employers alike. These benefits are usually:

Faster recovery

  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • Back at work faster

Reduced tissue trauma

  • Less pain
  • Less scarring
  • Less related medications

Shorter hospital length of stay

  • Faster patient ambulation
  • Reduced follow-up care for some patients

Lower risk of complications, for example

  • Less surgical site infections following cholecystectomy41
  • Less hospital-acquired (or nosocomial) infections following hysterectomy41

Minimally Invasive surgery outcomes

The economic impact of these benefits has also been shown. In two published retrospective analyses of a large commercial payor data base, minimally invasive surgery was proven to be less costly than traditional surgeries:

Colon surgery (colectomy)

A traditional “open” surgery can cost between $438 and $15,000 more than when the same procedure was performed minimally invasively.48,20 There was also a significant reduction in infection afterward associated with minimally invasive surgery.48

Removal of an appendix (appendectomy)

A minimally invasive procedure was on average $700 less and was associated with significantly reducing postoperative infection.48

Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy)

Many procedures can be performed in an outpatient setting when a minimally invasive approach is used. There was a difference in costs between outpatient procedures such as laparoscopic ($9,426) and vaginal hysterectomy ($7,627) vs. in-patient surgery ($11,739).63 There were also reduced post-operative infections and adverse events such as major bleeding associated with the minimally invasive procedures.63 The evidence shows that payors may have an opportunity with more minimally invasive hysterectomies being performed to improve health care quality while at the same time lowering expenditures.

More outcomes

Results in another publication indicated a 50% reduction in hospital-acquired (or nosocomial) infection rate and 65% reduction in readmissions for minimally invasive procedures for cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), hysterectomy and appendectomy.41 As compared to traditional “open” surgery, the short-term disability guidelines are reduced by 7 to as much as 28 days for minimally invasive procedures.55

Health care is changing for the better, thanks to the growing demand for quality outcomes and evidence. And now more than ever, patients are educating themselves on their treatment options, including minimally invasive surgery.

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