Cost effectiveness of routine type and screen testing before laparoscopic cholecystectomy
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Background: The aim of this study was to assess the cost effectiveness of routine preoperative blood type and screen testing before laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Methods: All 2,589 laparoscopic cholecystectomies and 603 open cholecystectomies performed at our institution between January 1990 and December 1996 were retrospectively reviewed to identify the incidence and causes of blood transfusions. With the use of ICD-9-CM coding, a computerized retrospective research was done to match the corresponding codes for the aforementioned operations and blood transfusion. Individual charts were reviewed to identify the indications for blood transfusion.
Results: Of the 2,589 laparoscopic cholecystectomies performed, 12 patients required blood transfusion, and of the 603 open cholecystectomies, 33 patients required blood transfusion. The incidence of blood transfusions was 0.46% for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and 5.47% for open cholecystectomy. Two of the blood transfusions given intraoperatively were due to major vascular injury in the laparoscopic cholecystectomy group. The remaining blood transfusions were found to be the result of preexisting medical conditions including sickle-cell anemia, end-stage renal disease, and chronic iron deficiency anemia.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy has become a widely used therapeutic modality in general surgery. The procedure is safe, effective, and well tolerated by the patient. In the era of managed healthcare, the cost effectiveness of commonly ordered tests is frequently questioned. In the absence of preoperative indications, routine preoperative blood type and screen testing should be eliminated for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The elimination of routine preoperative blood type and screen testing could have saved our institution $79,800 during a 6-year period.