Human capital gains associated with robotic assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty in children compared to open pyeloplasty

James W. Behan, Steve S. Kim, Frederick Dorey, Roger E. De Filippo, Andy Y. Chang, Brian E. Hardy, Chester J. Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Purpose: Robotic assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty is an emerging, minimally invasive alternative to open pyeloplasty in children for ureteropelvic junction obstruction. The procedure is associated with smaller incisions and shorter hospital stays. To our knowledge previous outcome analyses have not included human capital calculations, especially regarding loss of parental workdays. We compared perioperative factors in patients who underwent robotic assisted laparoscopic and open pyeloplasty at a single institution, especially in regard to human capital changes, in an institutional cost analysis. Materials and Methods: A total of 44 patients 2 years old or older from a single institution underwent robotic assisted (37) or open (7) pyeloplasty from 2008 to 2010. We retrospectively reviewed the charts to collect demographic and perioperative data. The human capital approach was used to calculate parental productivity losses. Results: Patients who underwent robotic assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty had a significantly shorter average hospital length of stay (1.6 vs 2.8 days, p <0.05). This correlated with an average savings of lost parental wages of $90.01 and hospitalization expenses of $612.80 per patient when excluding amortized robot costs. However, cost savings were not achieved by varying length of stay when amortized costs were included. Conclusions: Robotic assisted laparoscopic pyeloplasty in children is associated with human capital gains, eg decreased lost parental wages, and lower hospitalization expenses. Future comparative outcome analyses in children should include financial factors such as human capital loss, which can be especially important for families with young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1667
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • cost savings
  • costs and cost analysis
  • kidney
  • laparoscopy
  • robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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