Radiological treatment method spares patients surgery and offers 89 percent cost savings

Sep 21, 2009

Pericardial effusion, the collection of fluid around the heart, typically occurs in patients following heart surgery and is usually treated using an invasive surgical drainage technique. However researchers have discovered that a minimally invasive procedure called CT-guided tube pericardiostomy is just as effective — requiring no recovery time, fewer resources, and provides an 89 percent cost savings over the surgical drainage technique, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

The study, performed at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, included 39 CT-guided tube pericardiostomy procedures that were all performed successfully.

"Patients having the procedure required only local anesthesia and no post-treatment recovery time," said Suzanne L. Palmer, MD, lead author of the study. "Comparison of procedure charges at our institution showed an 89 percent cost savings with CT-guided tube pericardiostomy instead of surgical drainage. We found that the total charge for a CT-guided procedure was only $769.15; the total charge for a surgical drainage procedure was $6,952.52," she said.

"Pericardial effusion occurs in as many as 85 percent of patients following cardiovascular surgery. CT-guided tube pericardiostomy is an attractive first-line therapeutic option for these patients, especially in the postoperative period because it spares them from having another ," she said.

"Aside from being cost competitive it also makes the treatment option less risky for patients. The procedure does not require general anesthesia and a catheter is inserted into the excess fluid for drainage — allowing physicians to avoid working around major organs and vascular structures," said Dr. Palmer.

Source: American Roentgen Ray Society

Explore further: Liver transplant recipient marks 25th anniversary

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microcoils help locate small lung nodules

Feb 02, 2009

A new technique combining computed tomography (CT) with fiber-coated surgical microcoils allows physicians to successfully locate and remove small lung nodules without the need for a more invasive procedure, according to ...

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.