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07.05.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2019

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery 4/2019

Laparoscopic versus open hemihepatectomy—a cost analysis after propensity score matching

Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery > Ausgabe 4/2019
S. Wabitsch, A. Kästner, P. K. Haber, L. Feldbrügge, T. Winklmann, S. Werner, J. Pratschke, Moritz Schmelzle
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Cost efficiency is important for hospitals in order to provide high-quality health care for all patients. As hemihepatectomies are increasingly being performed laparoscopically, the aims of this study were to evaluate the costs of laparoscopic hemihepatectomy and to compare them to conventional open techniques.

Patients and methods

This is a retrospective analysis of clinical outcomes and financial calculations of all patients who underwent hemihepatectomy between January 2015 and December 2016 at the Department of Surgery, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Charité Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany, being allocated to the DRG (diagnosis-related group) H01A (complex operations of the liver and pancreas with complex intensive care treatment) or H01B (operations of the liver and pancreas without complex intensive care treatment). To overcome selection bias, a 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed.


After PSM, a total of 64 patients were identified; 32 patients underwent laparoscopic hemihepatectomy (LH); and 32 patients received open hemihepatectomy (OH). After PSM, no significant differences were observed in clinical baseline characteristics. The duration of surgery was significantly longer for patients undergoing LH compared to OH (LH, 334 min, 186–655 min; OH, 274 min, 176–454 min; p = 0.005). Patients in the LH group had a significantly shortened median hospital stay of 5 d, when compared to OH (LH, 9.5 d, 3–35 d; OH, 14.5 d, 7–37d; p = 0.005). We observed a significant higher rate of postoperative complication in the OH group (p = 0.022). Cost analysis showed median overall costs of 17,369.85€ in the LH group and 16,103.64€ in the OH group (p = 0.390).


Our data suggest that higher intraoperative costs of laparoscopic liver surgery, e.g., for surgical devices and due to longer operation times, are compensated by fewer postoperative complications and consecutive shorter length of stay when compared with OH.

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