Safe and cost-effective approach to carotid surgery

G. Melissano, R. Castellano, S. Mazzitelli, G. Zoppei, R. Chiesa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the safety and cost effectiveness of carotid surgery performed altering the perioperative protocol in an attempt to decrease resource utilisation. Setting: Department of vascular surgery in a large metropolitan teaching hospital in northern Italy. Design: Prospective, non-selective study. Materials and Methods: Three hundred and eighty carotid procedures were performed in 1995 on 343 patients (274 males, 69 females, mean age 68.2 years, range 47-86 years). The most important cost containment measures were: (i) limiting the use of contrast arteriography to cases of dubious ultrasonic diagnosis; (ii) routine use of loco-regional anaesthesia; (iii) postoperative admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) only in selected cases; (iv) early postoperative discharge where possible. Results: Mortality was 0.26% and neurological morbidity 1.58%. General anaesthesia was required in eight patients (2.1%), and only seven patients (1.8%) were admitted postoperatively to the ICU. Arteriography was performed in 56 cases (14.7%). The average hospital stay was 5 days with a global cost of 43 036 ECU, as compared with a cost of 6764 ECU for patients treated traditionally with routine arteriography, general anaesthesia and routine ICU admission. Conclusions: Selective use of arteriography and ICU, routine use of loco-regional anaesthesia and reduced hospital stay make it possible to lower the cost of carotid surgery without sacrificing quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Carotid artery disease (surgery)
  • Cerebrovascular disorders (prevention and control)
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Endarterectomy, carotid
  • Health expenditures
  • Health resources (utilization)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery


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