Cost-Effectiveness of Robot-assisted Radical Cystectomy Using a Propensity-matched Cohort

Health-related quality of life is important for patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC).

To determine the cost-effectiveness of robotic-assisted RC (RARC) compared to open cystectomy (OC) for bladder cancer and factors that contribute to cost-effectiveness.

A decision analytic model was used to compare health-related quality of life and medical costs for RARCs with intracorporeal urinary diversion and OCs performed between 2007 and 2015.

Propensity matching was performed among 1322 cases to yield a final cohort of 100 RARC and 96 ORC cases. Probabilities were obtained from the clinical study data, while quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and health utility values were derived from the literature. A complication, readmission, or transfusion was included in the 90-d time horizon model.

There were no differences between the groups in patient demographics, pathologic staging, or length of stay. Multivariable analysis revealed that the RARC group had fewer transfusions and complications compared to the OC group. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $2969. RARC cost $2969 less per QALY when compared to OC. While RARC was $17000 more expensive, it also associated with an increase of 0.32 QALYs. One-way sensitivity analysis identified RARC as the preferred strategy if a complication can be prevented 74% of the time. RARC is preferred as long as it is 70% effective in preventing a transfusion. Two-way sensitivity analysis showed that as long as RARC can prevent complications and transfusions, it is the preferred cost-effective treatment when compared to OC. The study is limited by the omission of a societal perspective and the lack of health utility values for RC.

RARC is cost-effective compared to OC when the rates of complications and transfusions are significantly lower.

Bladder removal via a robotic approach is more expensive, but it improves health-related quality of life. Robotic surgery is cost-effective compared to an open approach for bladder removal if there are low rates of complications and blood transfusion.

European urology focus. 2018 Jul 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Janet Baack Kukreja, Michael J Metcalfe, Wei Qiao, Ashish M Kamat, Colin P N Dinney, Neema Navai

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of biostatistics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: .