Cost analysis between mini-percutaneous nephrolithotomy with and without vacuum-assisted access sheath

Elena Lievore, Stefano Paolo Zanetti, Irene Fulgheri, Matteo Turetti, Carlo Silvani, Carolina Bebi, Francesco Ripa, Gianpaolo Lucignani, Edoardo Pozzi, Lorenzo Rocchini, Elisa De Lorenzis, Giancarlo Albo, Fabrizio Longo, Andrea Salonia, Emanuele Montanari, Luca Boeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To perform a cost analysis between vacuum-assisted percutaneous nephrolithotomy (vmPCNL) and minimally invasive PCNL (MIP) and explore potential predictors of costs associated with the procedures. Methods: We analyzed data from 225 patients who underwent vmPCNL or MIP at a single tertiary referral academic center between January 2016 and December 2020. We collected patients’ demographics, peri-and postoperative data and detailed expense records. After propensity score matching, 108 (66.7%) vmPCNL and 54 (33.3%) MIP procedures were analyzed. Descriptive statistics assessed differences in clinical and operative parameters. Univariable and multivariable linear regression models tested the association between clinical variables and costs. Results: Operative time (OT) was shorter for vmPCNL, and the use of additional instruments to complete litholapaxy was more frequent in MIP (all p ≤ 0.01). Length of stay (LOS) was longer for MIP patients (p = 0.03) and the stone-free (SF) rate was higher after vmPCNL (p = 0.04). The overall instrumentation cost was higher for vmPCNL (p < 0.001), but total procedural costs were equivalent (p = 0.9). However, the overall cost for the hospitalization was higher for MIP than vmPCNL (p = 0.01). Univariable linear regression revealed that patient’s comorbidities, OT, any postoperative complication and LOS were associated with hospitalization costs (all p < 0.001). Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that LOS and OT were associated with hospitalization costs (all p < 0.001), after accounting for vmPCNL procedure, patients’ comorbidities, and complications. Conclusion: vmPCNL may represent a valid option due to clinical and economic benefits. Shorter OT, the lower need for disposable equipment and the lower complication rate reduced procedural and hospitalization costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-211
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Cost analysis
  • Infectious complications
  • Percutaneous nephrolithotomy
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vacuum-assisted percutaneous nephrolithotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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