NHS Finance


New surgery could save NHS £27m a year

A new surgical technique could save the NHS millions of pounds a year in costs for complications of prostate enlargement.

According to an independent evaluation by Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), replacing traditional surgery for the condition with a minimally invasive procedure using implants and avoiding the usual tissue removal could shave post-operative complication rates, and save the NHS £27m a year.

In the first ever published economic data analysis comparing traditional transurethral resection of the prostate with the new system, ICHP compared the burden of care of the standard procedure with newer treatment options.

Benign prostate enlargement affects a third of men in their 50s, increasing to 80% of men in their 70s, and over 18,000 traditional surgeries are performed across England each year for the condition.

However, the traditional technique – which involves cutting away part of the prostate – carries risks of erectile dysfunction, urethral stricture, permanent urinary incontinence, and a 65% risk of ejaculatory dysfunction.

Furthermore, many men continue to have problems following the operation, with 14% requiring further medication within a year, which increases to 20% by three years, and 40% within five years.

In comparison, men treated with the new method, which uses implants to hold back the enlarged tissue, required no overnight hospital stay and experienced no new sexual dysfunction.

After five years, just 11% of men were taking medication for the condition again.

Andi Orlowski, head of business intelligence at ICHP, said: “Data analytics like this gives the NHS the power to transform healthcare through innovation – not just in terms of cost reduction – but to also improve patient outcomes.”

Co-author of the analysis, consultant urologist Mr. Oliver Kayes of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “This data analysis shows how the NHS can move from a service providing mainly inpatient treatment involving traditional surgery with general anaesthesia to a new world of minimally invasive, day case treatment performed under a local anaesthetic.

“Converting to minimally invasive techniques can help to limit a number of unwanted, distressing side effects often seen in men after traditional surgery.”


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