Background. Prolonged air leak is defined as an ongoing air leak for more than 5 days. Intrabronchial valve (IBV) treatment is approved for the treatment of air leaks. Objective. To analyze our experience with IBV and valuate its cost-effectiveness. Methods. Retrospective analysis of IBV from June 2013 to October 2014. We analyzed direct costs based on hospital and operating room charges. We used average costs in US dollars for the analysis not individual patient data. Results. We treated 13 patients (9 M/4 F), median age of 60 years (38 to 90). Median time from diagnosis to IBV placement was 9.8 days, time from IBV placement to chest tube removal was 3 days, and time from IBV placement to hospital discharge was 4 days. Average room and board costs were $14,605 including all levels of care. IBV cost is $2750 per valve. The average number of valves used was 4. Total cost of procedure, valves, and hospital stay until discharge was $13,900. Conclusion. In our limited experience, the use of IBV to treat prolonged air leaks is safe and appears cost-effective. In pure financial terms, the cost seems justified for any air leak predicted to last greater than 8 days.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Eitan Podgaetz et al.