Assessing Cost of Robotic Utilization in Partial Nephrectomy with Increasing Utilization

Clinton Bahler, Maria Francesca Monn, Chandra K. Flack, Alec R. Gramm, Thomas Gardner, Chandru Sundaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate trends in utilization of robotic assistance in partial nephrectomy (PN) and assess the association between cost and utilization. Patients and Methods: Using the 2009-2012 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, we identified all adult (>17 years) patients undergoing PN for localized primary renal malignancy. Coding for robotic assistance (17.4 × ) began in the final quarter of 2008. The primary outcome was total hospital cost exclusive of physician fees. A multiple linear regression model was used to adjust for patient and hospital characteristics. Results: Between 2009 and 2012, there were 32,664 (58%) open, 3498 (6%) laparoscopic, and 20,350 (36%) robot-assisted partial nephrectomies performed in the United States. Between 2009 and 2012, the total number of partial nephrectomies semiannually increased by 93% (5114-9845) with robotic partial nephrectomies (RPNs) representing >80% of the increase. RPN increased from 1029 cases in the first half of 2009 to 4840 in the last half of 2012 and surpassed utilization of open nephrectomy. The proportion of all partial nephrectomies performed with robotic assistance increased from 20% to 49% during the same period. After adjusting for demographics, Charlson comorbidity index, and hospital region, RPN went from $1,464 (p = 0.009) more than open in 2009 to $456 (p = 0.28) less than open in 2012. Conclusions: Utilization of RPN surpassed open in 2012 in the United States. The difference in cost between the robotic and open approaches decreased during the study period and by 2011 was not statistically different.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-716
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endourology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • carcinoma
  • cost and cost analysis
  • economics
  • nephrectomy
  • renal cell
  • robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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