Holmium:YAG laser and pulsed dye laser: a cost comparison.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE This study was designed to evaluate the relative cost effectiveness of the Holmium:YAG laser and the pulsed dye laser for the treatment of ureteral calculi. Cost containment is a priority for every health care facility. As a result, the staff of the Lutheran Medical Center (Wheat Ridge, CO) looked at alternative ways to provide quality laser treatment of ureteral stones. As part of our study, the laser committee offered the Holmium:YAG laser to urologists for ureteral lithotripsy. Previously, the pulsed dye laser was rented for ureteral calculi on a per case basis at $1,500. A hospital processing fee was added to this cost, resulting in a total charge of $1,638 to the patient. Our organization owns a Holmium:YAG laser and uses it primarily in orthopedics. STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS Two ureteral lithotripsy cases were performed and compared. One case used the Holmium:YAG for ureteral lithotripsy; the other procedure used the pulsed dye laser. A cost analysis was performed after the procedures. RESULTS The data indicated a significant difference in cost between the two lasers. Approximately $1,000 was eliminated when using the Holmium:YAG laser. CONCLUSION A cost savings of $15,000 per year would be realized if 15 cases were performed. The Holmium:YAG laser also can be used on cystine calculi, a procedure for which the pulsed dye laser is ineffective. The potential for ureteral injury exists. When using the Holmium:YAG laser, appropriate training is required. Due to this risk, not all urologists will use the Holmium:YAG laser. We also found a positive correlation between the proficiency of the urologists' laser skills and overall cost effectiveness.

Cite this paper

@article{Adams1997HolmiumYAGLA, title={Holmium:YAG laser and pulsed dye laser: a cost comparison.}, author={Derrick H Adams}, journal={Lasers in surgery and medicine}, year={1997}, volume={21 1}, pages={29-31} }