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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-34

A cost comparison of open versus percutaneous approaches to management of large staghorn calculi

1 Department of Urology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
2 The Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
Ganesh Gopalakrishnan
Department of Urology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-1591.38599

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Aim: This paper compares the cost of open versus percutaneous approaches to the management of large staghorn calculi in a tertiary care hospital in India. Materials and Methods: Patients who underwent surgery for staghorn calculi larger than 6 cm between January 1998 and December 2003 were included. Those who had confounding factors in terms of cost such as additional surgical or medical procedures and complications unrelated to the surgery were excluded. The process of costing was done by following the clinical pathway. Results: There were 13 patients who had open stone surgery and 19 patients who underwent percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PCNL). The major differences in cost were seen in the higher cost of instruments and consumables in the PCNL group. The cost of management of complications widened this gap. Two patients in the PCNL group and none in the residual group required redo surgery. The residual stones in the open and PCNL groups required a mean of 2525 and 3623 shocks per patient respectively. Complete clearance after redo surgery and Shockwave lithotripsy (SWL) was seen in 92% and 58% in the open and PCNL arms respectively. The overall cost per patient was $625 per PCNL and $499 per open surgery. The final mean residual stone size in the PCNL group was 4.84 mm whereas it was 0.38 mm in the open group. The effective cost of achieving complete clearance in one patient was $1078 in the PCNL group and $543 in the open group. Conclusion: Open stone surgery is less costly than PCNL in large staghorn calculi.

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