Indocyanine green, near infrared, fluorescence angiography (ICG-FA) is increasingly adopted in colorectal surgery for intraoperative tissue perfusion assessment to reduce anastomotic leakage rates. However, the economic impact of this intervention has not been investigated.

This study is a cost analysis of the routine use of ICG-FA in colorectal surgery from the hospital payer perspective. A decision analysis model was developed for colorectal resections considering two scenarios: resection without using ICG-FA and resection with intraoperative ICG-FA for anastomotic perfusion assessment. Incorporated into the model were the costs of ICG agent, fluorescence angiography equipment, surgery, anastomotic leak, and the leak rates with and without ICG-FA.  

Results: The routine use of ICG-FA for colorectal anastomosis is cost saving when cost analysis is performed using the following base case assumptions: 8.6% leak rate without ICG-FA, odds ratio of 0.46 for reduction of leakage with ICG-FA (4.8% leak rate relative to 8.6% base case), cost of ICG-FA of $250, and incremental cost of leak, not requiring reoperation, of $9,934.50. In one-way sensitivity analyses, routine use of ICG-FA was cost saving if the cost of an anastomotic leak is more than $5616.29, the cost of ICG-FA is less than $634.44, the leak rate (without ICG-FA) is higher than 4.9%, or the odds ratio for reduction of leak with ICG-FA is less than 0.69. There is a per-case saving of $192.22 with the use of ICG-FA.

Using the best available evidence and most conservative base case values, routine use of ICG-FA in colorectal surgery was found to be cost saving. Since the evidence suggests there is a reduction in leak rate, the routine use of ICG-FA is a dominating strategy.

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