BACKGROUND. Cost-effectiveness remains an issue surrounding the introduction of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN). METHODS. In a randomized controlled trial the cost-effectiveness of LDN versus mini-incision open donor nephrectomy (ODN) was determined. Fifty donors were included in each group. All in-hospital costs were documented. Postoperatively, case record forms were sent to the donors during 1-year follow-up to record return-to-work and societal costs. To offset costs against quality of life, the Euroqol-5D questionnaire was administered preoperatively and 3, 7, 14, 28, 90, 180, and 365 days postoperatively. RESULTS. Mean total costs were €6,090 (US$7,308) after LDN and €4,818 ($5,782) after ODN (P<0.001). Disposables influenced the cost difference most. Mean productivity loss was 68 and 75 days after LDN and ODN respectively, corresponding to €783 ($940) gained per donor after LDN. The main gain in quality of life in the LDN group was realized within 4 weeks postoperatively. LDN resulted in a mean gain of 0.03 quality-adjusted life years at mean costs of €1,271 ($1,525) and €488 ($586) from a healthcare perspective and a societal perspective, respectively. This implies that one additional Quality-Adjusted Life Year after LDN costs about €16,000 ($19,200) from a societal point of view and about €41,000 ($49,200) from a health-care perspective. Activities other than work were resumed significantly earlier after LDN (66 vs. 91 days, P=0.01). CONCLUSION. In addition to a clinically relevant donor-experienced benefit from LDN, this technique appeared, given a societal perspective, a cost-efficient procedure mainly due to less productivity losses.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kok, N., Adang, E., Hansson, B., Dooper, I., Weimar, W., van der Wilt, G.-J., & IJzermans, J. (2007). Cost effectiveness of laparoscopic versus mini-incision open donor nephrectomy: A randomized study. Transplantation, 83(12), 1582–1587. doi:10.1097/