Estimated costs for uterine artery embolization and abdominal myomectomy for uterine leiomyomata: a comparative study at a single institution
PURPOSE: To determine and compare the costs associated with uterine artery embolization (UAE) and abdominal myomectomy for the treatment of symptomatic leiomyomata. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Charge information was gathered and analyzed from 23 patients who underwent UAE and 17 who underwent abdominal myomectomy in a single institution. The mean charges for each procedure were calculated from the patients’ billing data. Cost-to-charge ratios were applied to the mean charges to estimate costs. The work relative value units (RVUs) for all physician services for each procedure were calculated. These total work RVUs for each intervention were multiplied by the appropriate Medicare conversion factors to estimate a uniform physician fee. These costs were totaled and compared with use of the unpaired t test to estimate the cost difference between UAE and abdominal myomectomy. RESULTS: The estimated hospital cost for UAE was $3,193, which was significantly lower than the $5,598 estimated for abdominal myomectomy (P < .0001). The discrepancy was caused primarily by increased hospital care and operating room costs for abdominal myomectomy. The total professional costs were significantly higher for UAE ($2,220) than for abdominal myomectomy ($1,611) (P = .002). When all associated costs, including typical imaging costs, were considered, there was a trend toward lower costs for UAE ($6,708) compared to abdominal myomectomy ($7,630) (P = .086). CONCLUSION: UAE had lower procedure-related costs than abdominal myomectomy despite higher physician costs. When typical imaging costs were included, there was still a trend toward lower costs for UAE.