Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 3732–3739 | Cite as

Cost-Effectiveness of Minimally Invasive Versus Open Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer

  • Lawrence Lee
  • Monisha Sudarshan
  • Chao Li
  • Eric Latimer
  • Gerald M. Fried
  • David S. Mulder
  • Liane S. Feldman
  • Lorenzo E. FerriEmail author
Healthcare Policy and Outcomes



A recent randomized trial comparing minimally invasive (MIE) and open esophagectomy for esophageal cancer reported improved short-term outcomes. However, MIE has increased operative costs, and it is unclear whether the short-term benefits of MIE outweigh the increased operative costs. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of MIE compared to open esophagectomy for esophageal cancer.


A decision-analysis model was developed to estimate the expected costs and outcomes after MIE and open esophagectomy from a health care system perspective with a time horizon of 1 year. Costs were represented in 2012 Canadian dollars, and effectiveness was measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Probabilistic sensitivity analysis assessed parameter uncertainty.


MIE was estimated to cost $1641 (95 % confidence interval 1565, 1718) less than open esophagectomy, with an incremental gain of 0.022 QALYs (95 % confidence interval 0.021, 0.023). MIE was therefore dominant over open esophagectomy. On deterministic sensitivity analyses, the results were most sensitive to variations in length of stay. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis demonstrated the robustness of the base case result, with 66, 77, and 82 % probabilities of cost-effectiveness at willingness-to-pay thresholds of $0/QALY, $50,000/QALY, and $100,000/QALY, respectively.


MIE is cost-effective compared to open esophagectomy in patients with resectable esophageal cancer.


Esophageal Cancer Probabilistic Sensitivity Analysis Open Resection Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy Open Esophagectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Lee
    • 1
  • Monisha Sudarshan
    • 2
  • Chao Li
    • 1
  • Eric Latimer
    • 3
  • Gerald M. Fried
    • 1
  • David S. Mulder
    • 2
  • Liane S. Feldman
    • 1
  • Lorenzo E. Ferri
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and InnovationMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Division of Thoracic SurgeryMcGill University Health CentreMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational HealthMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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