In robot surgery reduction of personell in the operation room, and the opportunity of telesurgery are claimed as cost advantages. Hospitals can save on costs by decreasing the length of a patient's stay due to a shorter recovery period when using surgery robots.
But in reality the cost advantage is not sure. While Intuitive Surgical Inc. the manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical robots reported total revenue growth of 24 percent in 2011 to $1.7 billion, one of its customers, the UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh is loosing an average $4,013 on each robot-assisted case according to a study from The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh Business times reports. The study analyzed the cost of robot-assisted, laparoscopic surgery for prostate cancer at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. In what was among the first studies based on actual direct and indirect costs, rather than computer models, researchers found that the mean total cost per case of robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery was 62 percent higher than the cost of conventional open radical surgery without a significant reduction in length of stay. Overall, the cost of the robot-assisted surgery was $5,300 higher than the conventional approach although the reimbursement for each method is nearly equivalent.