Cost-Effectiveness of Endoscopic Versus Microscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery for Pituitary Adenoma

Jared D. Ament, Zhuo Yang, Vic Khatchadourian, E Bradley Strong, Kiarash Shahlaie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETPS) has become increasingly popular for resection of pituitary tumors, whereas microscopic transsphenoidal surgery (MTPS) also remains a commonly used approach. The economic sustainability of new techniques and technologies is rarely evaluated in the neurosurgical skull base literature. The aim of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of ETPS compared with MTPS. Methods: A Markov model was constructed to conduct a cost-utility analysis of ETPS versus MTPS from a single-payer health care perspective. Data were obtained from previously published outcomes studies. Costs were based on Medicare reimbursement rates, considering covariates such as complications, length of stay, and operative time. The base case adopted a 2-year follow-up period. Univariate and multivariate sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results: On average, ETPS costs $143 less and generates 0.014 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) compared with MTPS over 2 years. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is −$10,214 per QALY, suggesting economic dominance. The QALY benefit increased to 0.105 when modeled to 10 years, suggesting that ETPS becomes even more favorable over time. Conclusions: ETPS appears to be cost-effective when compared with MTPS because the ICER falls below the commonly accepted $50,000 per QALY benchmark. Model limitations and assumptions affect the generalizability of the conclusion; however, ongoing efforts to improve rhinologic morbidity related to ETPS would appear to further augment the marginal cost savings and QALYs gained. Further research on the cost-effectiveness of ETPS using prospective data is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e496-e503
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Cost-utility analysis
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Quality of life
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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