A cost-effectiveness analysis of transurethral resection of the prostate and transurethral microwave thermotherapy for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: two-year follow-up

M Waldén, S Acosta, P Carlsson, S Pettersson, C Dahlstrand
Scandinavian Journal of Urology and Nephrology 1998, 32 (3): 204-10

OBJECTIVE: To compare costs of transurethral prostatic resection (TURP) and transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in a randomized, controlled trial.

METHODS: In 70 BPH patients all costs were calculated for management, including complications and repeat treatment, during TURP or TUMT and 24-month follow-up. Clinical outcome was judged from Madsen-Iversen symptom score, peak urinary flow and residual urine. The effect of changes in some critical variables was assessed by sensitivity analysis. A cost-effectiveness analysis was carried out to compare the two methods.

RESULTS: Symptom reduction after 2 years was 92% in the TURP group and 83% in the TUMT group. The total costs over 2 years were SEK 24,234 and 14,830 in the respective groups. Costs for retreatments were higher after TUMT, while complication costs were higher in the TURP group. TUMT costs depend on the investment for the equipment, including disposable probes, and the degree of its utilization. TUMT was more cost-effective than TURP in relieving BPH-related symptoms during the 2-year follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary treatment costs were lower for TUMT than for TURP. Complication costs were higher in the trial's TURP arm, while retreatment costs were greater in the TUMT arm. TUMT costs depend on investment in and utilization of the equipment and reuse of treatment probes. TUMT was more cost-effective than TURP in the 2-year study period.

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