Comparing the Cost of Delayed and Immediate Autologous Breast Reconstruction in Belgium
This study documents the cost of immediate and delayed DIEP flap breast reconstruction. Immediate reconstruction is more attractive from an economic perspective since it only requires one operation, one anaesthetic procedure and one recovery period in hospital. From the perspective of health care budget management, assessing the possible cost savings from immediate reconstruction yields interesting results. Since charges do not reflect the real costs of providing care, we calculated resource costs using the micro-costing method. About 95 per cent of the initial mastectomy costs could be saved when performing an immediate breast reconstruction. This was about 35 per cent of total standard direct and indirect costs due to mastectomy and delayed breast reconstruction. In a growing cost conscious environment of managed care, the economic evaluation should therefore encourage the trend towards more immediate reconstructions.
Immediate breast reconstruction, Autologous breast reconstruction, DIEP flap, Resource costs, Savings
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