The financial impact of employing minimally invasive techniques for lobectomy compared with traditional open thoracotomy was assessed. A retrospective review was conducted using ICD9 codes for thoracotomy, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), and robotic VATS lobectomy to determine total average costs associated with the resultant hospital stay. The difference in total average costs was calculated for each group. Robotic VATS lobectomy had higher associated costs than VATS only, primarily attributed to increased costs of the first hospital day, but was still less costly than thoracotomy. The average cost of VATS is substantially less than thoracotomy primarily because of a decreased length of stay. The cost of robotic assistance for VATS is still less than thoracotomy, but greater than VATS alone.
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