Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    A health and economic impact analysis of robotic surgery for the treatment of localised prostate cancer in the Victorian public health system
    Basto, Marnique ( 2017)
    Background: The rising prevalence of prostate cancer in Australia will increasingly contribute significant morbidity, mortality and economic burden on society. Radical prostatectomy is the mainstay of treatment for localised prostate cancer, and robotic prostatectomy the dominant surgical approach to management in the United States and Europe. Large systematic reviews have demonstrated some perioperative and functional benefits of robotic over open and laparoscopic approaches, however no differences in oncological outcomes have been demonstrated to date. The cost of the robot is undoubtedly greater than open and laparoscopic approaches however studies have shown a significant cost offset due to reduced length of stay and other improved clinical outcomes. We aim to perform a comprehensive health and economic impact analysis of robotic surgery for the treatment of localised prostate cancer in the Victorian public health system since the introduction of the da Vinci surgical robot to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) in July 2010. Methods: To compare patterns of care and perioperative outcomes of robotic prostatectomy to other approaches, we utilised a large dataset from the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (VAED) including all prostatectomy patients performed in the Victorian public sector since the installation of the da Vinci robot. Additionally the RARP series of perioperative, complication, oncological, functional and quality of life (QOL) outcomes at Peter Mac was compared to local, national and international literature. We then created an economic model to evaluate the incremental cost of robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) versus open radical prostatectomy (ORP) and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), incorporating the cost-offset from differences in length of stay and blood transfusion rate. The economic model constructs estimates of the diagnosis-related group (DRG) costs of ORP and LRP, adds the gross cost of the surgical robot (capital, consumables, maintenance and repairs), and manipulates these DRG costs to obtain a DRG cost per day, which can be used to estimate the cost-offset associated with RARP in comparison with ORP and LRP. Economic modelling was performed around a base-case scenario assuming a 7-year robot lifespan and 124 RARPs performed per financial year. One and two-way sensitivity analyses were performed for the four-arm da Vinci S HD, Si and Si dual console surgical systems. Results: The robotic surgical approach has become the dominant technique to radical prostatectomy for localised prostate cancer in the Victorian health system over ORP and LRP. The introduction of a surgical robot to the Victorian public system has resulted in centralisation of prostatectomy to Peter Mac with huge institutional growth since its instillation. Length of hospital stay and blood transfusion rates are significantly improved with the robotic approach. Positive surgical margin rates with RARP are improved compared to prior Victorian data consisting of primarily an ORP cohort. Complication and oncological outcomes of RARP are comparable between surgical approaches and to large international RARP series. Definitive comparison of RARP functional and QOL outcomes between approaches was difficult without a comparative cohort however compared favourably with previous literature. Improvements in length of stay and blood transfusion rates offset most of the additional cost of the robot in the base case scenario where 124 robotic cases are performed per year. RARP can become cost-equivalent with ORP where ~140 cases are performed in the base-case scenario. Increasing the surgical volume, lifespan of the robot and reducing the cost of the consumables can ameliorate cost. Conclusions: The da Vinci surgical robot has been safely introduced into the Victorian public health system at Peter Mac. The addition of the robot has significantly altered the way we treat patients with localised prostate cancer in Victoria. The robotic approach confers some clinical advantages compared to laparoscopic and open prostatectomy consistent with international literature, and the reduction in length of stay offsets much of the increased cost of the robotic procedure.