Study objective: Intravenous patient-controlled opioid analgesia (IVPCA), epidural analgesia and transversus abdominis plane (TAP) infiltrations are frequently used postoperative pain management modalities. The aim of this study was to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis comparing the use of epidural, IVPCA, and TAP infiltrations with liposomal bupivacaine for analgesia in the first 72 h postoperatively in patients undergoing major lower abdominal surgery. Design: Retrospective cost effectiveness analysis. Setting: Operating room. Patients: We obtained data on major lower-abdominal surgeries performed under general anesthesia on adult patients between January 2012 and July 2014. Interventions: A cost-effectiveness analysis was comparing the use of epidural, IVPCA, and TAP infiltrations with liposomal bupivacaine for analgesia in the first 72 h postoperatively. Measurements: A decision analytic model was used to estimate the health outcomes for patients undergoing major lower abdominal surgery. The primary outcome was time-weighted pain from 0 to 72 h after surgery, as measured by numerical rating scale pain scores. The analysis was conducted from the perspective of the hospital as the party responsible for most costs related to surgery. Main results: From the base case analysis, IVPCA was the optimal strategy regarding cost and effect. TAP with LB, however, was only narrowly dominated, while epidural was clearly dominated. From the sensitivity analysis at willingness-to-pay (WTP) of $150, IV PCA and TAP infiltration were each the optimal strategy for approximately 50% of the iterations. At WTP of $10,000, epidural was only the optimal strategy in 10% of the iterations. Conclusions: This is the first study in the literature to compare the cost-effectiveness of epidural, IVPCA, and TAP infiltrations with LB. Within reasonable WTP values, there is little differentiation in cost-effectiveness between IVPCA and TAP infiltration with LB. Epidural does not become a cost-effective strategy even at much higher WTP values.
- Cost-effectiveness analysis
- Epidural analgesia
- Nerve block
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine