Researchers at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine have found that nearly $2.3 billion could have been saved in healthcare costs in 2009 and employees would have taken fewer days off if doctors had opted for minimally invasive procedures instead of traditional surgeries.
The study, which has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery, also revealed that employees would have taken 20,000 fewer days of work if doctors had opted for minimally invasive procedures in six different types of surgeries, including heart and vascular surgeries.
The researchers conducted the study on 322,000 young and middle-aged adults and found that each minimally invasive surgery was $1,500 to $31,000 cheaper than traditional surgeries and led to an average of nine and 38 fewer missed days of work compared to traditional procedures.
"We're not saying everyone should get minimally-invasive surgery. What we are saying, I think, is that at least for these procedures, we've demonstrated there's this other dimension of potential value associated with minimally-invasive procedures. At the end of the day, it's still, 'Talk to your physician and decide what's right", lead researcher Andrew Epstein said.