Cost-effective treatment for ureteropelvic junction obstruction: A decision tree analysis

Matthew T. Gettman, Yair Lotan, Claus G. Roerhborn, Jeffrey A Cadeddu, Margaret S Pearle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: We determined the optimal treatment for primary ureteropelvic junction obstruction based on cost using a decision tree model. Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature search for articles addressing surgical correction of ureteropelvic junction obstruction was performed and data were abstracted on operative time, hospital stay, complications and success rate. The overall cost and individual cost centers at our institution for antegrade endopyelotomy, retrograde ureteroscopic endopyelotomy, Acucise (Applied Medical Resources, Laguna Hills, California) endopyelotomy, laparoscopic pyeloplasty and open pyeloplasty were compared. A decision tree model estimated the cost of treatment and followup for each modality using commercially available software. Sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of individual treatment variables on overall cost. Results: Based on cost center review retrograde ureteroscopic endopyelotomy was the least costly procedure ($2,891). In the decision tree model the rank order of overall treatment costs was: retrograde ureteroscopic endopyelotomy ($3,842), Acucise endopyelotomy ($4,427), antegrade endopyelotomy ($5,297), laparoscopic pyeloplasty ($7,026) and open pyeloplasty ($7,119). Despite various hospital stay, operative time, equipment cost and success rate data 1-way sensitivity analysis revealed that antegrade endopyelotomy, laparoscopic pyeloplasty and open pyeloplasty were never cost effective compared with retrograde ureteroscopic endopyelotomy or Acucise endopyelotomy, while 2-way sensitivity analysis favored retrograde ureteroscopic endopyelotomy. Conclusions: Primary cost variables for ureteropelvic junction obstruction treatments include operative time, hospital stay, equipment cost and success rate. Decision tree analysis showed that retrograde ureteroscopic or Acucise endopyelotomy is the most cost-effective treatment modality at our institution. However, cost is only 1 of a number of factors that are considered when deciding on an optimal course of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-232
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Decision trees
  • Kidney
  • Ureter
  • Ureteral obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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