Oct 4, 2010

DaVinci surgery, how much does it really cost?

What is the real cost of a DaVinci system and how much does it cost to run it? It is probably not a suprise to learn that costs can be very high. 
The price for a single system, can be anything between 1.75 mUS$ in the US (1) to about 2 m€ in Italy (2,3).
The associated costs are annual service fees (approx. 10% of the initial investment/year) and disposable instruments for around 1500-2200 USD per use (4).
On top of that, manufacturer-provided training programs cost between 3000-3500 US$ per surgeon for a 1 or 2-day session. 
Interesting enough, surgeons need the same OR organisation as per a conventional laparoscopic approach, i.e. scrub nurse, OR nurse and, yes, a surgeon assistant !
Finally, there is a new learning curve associated with effective use the of da Vinci surgical system.
Break-even seems hard to reach, depending on the procedure type and number of cases per year, aditional costs per procedure can exceed 3000€ (2,4-7) vs. conventional laparoscopic approach.

4) Morino et al. in Mastery of endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery 
(NJ Soper, LL Swanström, WS Eubanks; Wolters Kluwer 2009)
6) G. Hubens, M. Ruppert, L. Balliu,W. Vaneerdeweg, What Have we Learnt after Two Years Working with the Da Vinci Robot System in Digestive Surgery? Acta chir belg, 2004, 104, 609-614 
7) Economic evaluations in The da Vinci Surgical Robotic System: A Review Of The Clinical And Cost- Effectiveness, HTIS 2008 (http://www.cadth.ca/media/pdf/htis/L0052%20daVinci%20Robotic%20Surgical%20System%20final.pdf)


  1. your article is very interesting. I'd recommend using sources that are more reliable. Wikipedia does not have accurate information because anyone can go on there and change the information. a good source to choose could be http://www.intuitivesurgical.com/ or a site ending in .gov

  2. Your comment is right. However, coming myself from the surgery field, I know that the prices are correct and the system costs anything between 1.5-2 mUSD, depending on the country and distribution model.
    I cannot post a DaVinci's quote on the web and they don't publish official price list.
    But I you look into clinical studies published by surgeons or institutions, you can check the prices are correct and this is one reason why the costs vs clinical evidence is being discussed.