Background: Minimally invasive lobectomy is associated with decreased morbidity and length of stay. However, there have been few published analyses using recent, population-level data to compare clinical outcomes and cost by surgical approach, inclusive of robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RATS). The objective of this study was to compare outcomes and hospitalization costs among patients undergoing open, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and RATS lobectomy. Methods: We identified patients who underwent elective lobectomy in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Florida State Inpatient Database (2008 to 2014). Hierarchical logistic and linear regression models were used to compare in-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, prolonged length of stay, 30-day readmissions, and index hospitalization costs among cohorts. Results: We identified 15,038 patients, of whom 8501 (56.5%), 4608 (30.7%), and 1929 (12.8%) underwent open, VATS, and RATS lobectomy, respectively. Robotic-assisted lobectomies comprised less than 1% of total lobectomy volume in 2008, and grew to 25% of lobectomy volume by 2014. Both VATS and RATS lobectomies were associated with decreased in-hospital mortality compared to thoracotomy (VATS odds ratio 0.69, 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.94; RATS odds ratio 0.58, 95% confidence interval, 0.35 to 0.96; P = .016). After adjusting for patient age, sex, income, comorbidities, and hospital teaching status, VATS lobectomy was 2% less expensive (P = .007) and robotic-assisted lobectomy was 13% more expensive (P < .001) than the open approach. Conclusions: Minimally invasive approaches were associated to improved clinical outcomes compared with open lobectomy. However, only robotic-assisted lobectomy has had rapid growth in utilization. Despite additional cost, RATS lobectomy appears to provide a viable minimally invasive alternative for general thoracic procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1655
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Utilization Trends, Outcomes, and Cost in Minimally Invasive Lobectomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this