BACKGROUND: Live kidney donation has a clear economical benefit over dialysis and deceased-donor transplantation. Compared with mini-incision open donor nephrectomy, laparoscopic donor nephrectomy (LDN) is considered cost-effective. However, little is known on the cost-effectiveness of hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic donor nephrectomy (HARP). This study evaluated the cost-effectiveness of HARP versus LDN. METHODS: Alongside a randomized controlled trial, the cost-effectiveness of HARP versus LDN was assessed. Eighty-six donors were included in the LDN group and 82 in the HARP group. All in-hospital costs were recorded. During follow-up, return-to-work and other societal costs were documented up to 1 year. The EuroQol-5D questionnaire was administered up to 1 year postoperatively to calculate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). RESULTS: Mean total costs from a healthcare perspective were $8935 for HARP and $8650 for LDN (P=0.25). Mean total costs from a societal perspective were $16,357 for HARP and $16,286 for LDN (P=0.79). On average, donors completely resumed their daytime jobs on day 54 in the HARP group and on day 52 in the LDN group (P=0.65). LDN resulted in a gain of 0.005 QALYs. CONCLUSIONS: Absolute costs of both procedures are very low and the differences in costs and QALYs between LDN and HARP are very small. Other arguments, such as donor safety and pain, should determine the choice between HARP and LDN. Copyright

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Klop, K., Kok, N., Dols, L., D'Ancona, F., Adang, E., Grutters, J., & IJzermans, J. (2013). Cost-effectiveness of hand-assisted retroperitoneoscopic versus standard laparoscopic donor nephrectomy: A randomized study. Transplantation, 96(2), 170–175. doi:10.1097/TP.0b013e318296ca25