Objective: The authors performed a retrospective cost analysis for patients undergoing revascularization of their left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery either by standard coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or minimally invasive coronary artery bypass grafting (MICABG). Summary Background Data: Minimally invasive CABG has become a safe and effective alternative treatment for single-vessel coronary artery disease. However, the acceptance of this procedure as a routine alternative for the treatment of coronary artery disease will depend on both long-term graft patency rates as well as a competitive market cost. Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of three patient groups undergoing LAD coronary revascularization from January 1995 to July 1996. Ten patients were selected randomly from this period after PTCA of an LAD lesion with or without stenting. Nine patients underwent standard CABG on cardiopulmonary bypass with a left internal mammary artery. Nine patients received MICABG via a limited left anterior thoracotomy and left internal mammary artery to LAD grafting without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. Results: Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (n = 10) was unsuccessful in two patients. One patient in the MICABG group (n = 9) was converted successfully to conventional CABG because of an intramyocardial LAD and dilated left ventricle. There was no operative morbidity or mortality in any group. Average length of stay postprocedure was decreased significantly for both the MICABG and PTCA groups when compared with that of conventional CABG (n = 9) (2.7 +0.26, p =0.009, and 2.6 +0.54, p =0.006, vs.4.8 +0.46, respectively). Total hospital costs for the MICABG and PTCA groups were significantly less when compared with those of standard CABG ($10,129 + 1104, p =0.0028, and $9113 + 3,039, p =0.0001, vs. $17,816 + 1043, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences between the MICABG and PTCA groups. Conclusions: The final role of minimally invasive CABG is unclear. This procedure is clearly cost effective when compared with that of PTCA and conventional CABG. The long-term patency rates for MICABG will determine its overall efficacy.
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