Profitability of Robotic Surgery: Hospital Perspective

Analysis: Robot’s financial impact mixed

Whether a hospital can break even or make a profit with the da Vinci
device appears to turn on factors like the specific health plans in a
particular market, the mix of Medicare patients, and the efficiency in
using the robot. And most facilities seem to lose money at the outset.

“The da Vinci system makes you a better surgeon,” Arieh Shalhav,
associate professor of surgery and director of minimally-invasive urology
at the University of Chicago, told United Press International.

I am extremely pleased that Dr. Shalhav has become one of the top minimally invasive surgeons in the United States. As a 3rd year urology resident in 1999 I had the fortune of working with Dr. Shalhav. He was an excellent teacher and was the first exposure I had to minimally invasive urology. We spent time together performing research in the lab and surgery in the operating room. The majority of the reason why I have been as successful as I have with minimally invasive surgery is what I learned from Dr. Shalhav and the other world class surgeons at Indiana University.

Source: United
Press International

We have seen something similar at our hospital. Our hospital had been loosing money on every case, but now is profitable per case.
Our 1st 3 hour robotic prostatectomy was our 8th operation if you looked only at the robotic part of the operation.
Looking at the entire operation, including robotic/laparoscopic setup at the start and undocking/specimen removal/wound closure it took until operation 30 to finish in less than 3 hours.
We have lowered our operating room times by using the same nurses and anesthesiologists and concentrating on all aspects of the operation. We have cut down our initial robotic and laparoscopic setup time from over an hour to 15 minutes and the final step from 30 minutes at the end to 15 minutes.
Our fastest operation has been 1 hour and 40 minutes, but on average it is about 2 hours and 30 minutes after 100 da vinci prostatectomies.