Is it worth offering a routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy in developing countries? A Thailand case study

Yot Teerawattananon, Miranda Mugford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


The study aims to investigate whether laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) is a cost-effective strategy for managing gallbladder-stone disease compared to the conventional open cholecystectomy(OC) in a Thai setting.

Design and Setting:
Using a societal perspective a cost-utility analysis was employed to measure programme cost and effectiveness of each management strategy. The costs borne by the hospital and patients were collected from Chiang Rai regional hospital while the clinical outcomes were summarised from a published systematic review of international and national literature. Incremental cost per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) derived from a decision tree model.

The results reveal that at base-case scenario the incremental cost per QALY of moving from OC to LC is 134,000 Baht under government perspective and 89,000 Baht under a societal perspective. However, the probabilities that LC outweighed OC are not greater than 95% until the ceiling ratio reaches 190,000 and 270,000 Baht per QALY using societal and government perspective respectively.

The economic evaluation results of management options for gallstone disease in Thailand differ from comparable previous studies conducted in developed countries which indicated that LC was a cost-saving strategy. Differences were due mainly to hospital costs of post operative inpatient care and value of lost working time. The LC option would be considered a cost-effective option for Thailand at a threshold of three times per capita gross domestic product recommended by the committee on the Millennium Development Goals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalCost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2005

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