CHICAGO — Robotic surgery is increasingly being used for women’s hysterectomies, adding at least $2,000 to the cost without offering much benefit over less high-tech methods, a study found.
The technique was used in just 0.5 percent of operations studied in 2007, but that soared to almost 10 percent by early 2010. Columbia University researchers analyzed data on more than 260,000 women who had their wombs removed at 441 U.S. hospitals for reasons other than cancer. The database covered surgeries performed through the first few months of 2010.
Women who had the robotic operations were slightly less likely to spend more than two days in the hospital, but hospital stays were shorter than that for most women. Also, complications were equally rare among robotic surgery patients and those who had more conventional surgeries. Average costs for robotic hysterectomies totaled nearly $9,000, versus about $3,000 for the least expensive method, a different type of minimally invasive technique using more conventional surgery methods.