It’s also noteworthy that this reporter’s work consistently scores high in our reviews. The commitment to excellence is evident.
This is a clear, concise explanation of a journal article’s findings.
Elective appendectomy is a common surgical procedure that is now routinely performed using minimally invasive techniques. The question of whether laparoscopic appendectomy is safe and cost effective for a ruptured appendix has been an unresolved question. This new study adds some additional insight albeit with several important provisos.
Nice job on this. The story states:
“For uncomplicated cases of appendicitis, in which the appendix is still intact, the tabs for the two surgeries came out about the same, at just over $7,800. …When the appendix had burst, however, the open surgery racked up a considerably higher bill. On average, it cost $17,594, compared to $12,125 for the laparoscopic surgery.”
As already noted, the story did a good job comparing death rate, readmission rate and hospital stays between the two procedures.
Good job comparing death rate, readmission rate and hospital stays between the two procedures.
The story quotes the lead researcher’s own caveats about limitations of the research: “he acknowledged that the study has major limitations. First, it looks only at academic medical centers. And second, it’s not a randomized controlled trial, which means the patients being compared could be different in important ways, explaining at least part of the outcomes of the two types of surgery.Indeed, those who had laparoscopy were younger and usually had less severe disease, which could have biased the results in favor of the minimally invasive procedure.”
No disease mongering at play here.
There was no independent perspective offered. So, even though the lead researcher offered his own caveats about the limitations of the research, we always wish for an independent expert’s voice to be heard in such stories.
The focus of the story was the comparison between two surgical approaches.
The widespread use of laparascopic appendectomy was clear in the story.
The story offered this helpful context:
“…experiments comparing the two kinds of procedure have yielded mixed outcomes, and some experts remain unconvinced that laparoscopy is worth its higher upfront cost.The new study, in the Annals of Surgery, doesn’t settle that question. But it does suggest that laparoscopy could actually save thousands of dollars for some patients, when all costs — including physician fees, hospital fees and readmissions — are considered.”
It’s clear that the story didn’t rely on a news release.