Authors: Ehlers AP, Oelschlager BK, Pellegrini CA, Wright AS, Saunders MD, Flum DR, He H, Farjah F
Title: Achalasia Treatment, Outcomes, Utilization, and Costs: A Population-Based Study from the United States.
Journal: J Am Coll Surg 225(3):380-386
Date: 2017 Sep
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Randomized trials show that pneumatic dilation (PD) ≥30 mm and laparoscopic myotomy (LM) provide equivalent symptom relief and disease-related quality of life for patients with achalasia. However, questions remain about the safety, burden, and costs of treatment options. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective cohort study of achalasia patients initially treated with PD or LM (2009 to 2014) using the Truven Health MarketScan Research Databases. All patients had 1 year of follow-up after initial treatment. We compared safety, health care use, and total and out-of-pocket costs using generalized linear models. RESULTS: Among 1,061 patients, 82% were treated with LM. The LM patients were younger (median age 49 vs 52 years; p < 0.01), but were similar in terms of sex (p = 0.80) and prevalence of comorbid conditions (p = 0.11). There were no significant differences in the 1-year cumulative risk of esophageal perforation (LM 0.8% vs PD 1.6%; p = 0.32) or 30-day mortality (LM 0.3% vs PD 0.5%; p = 0.71). Laparoscopic myotomy was associated with an 82% lower rate of reintervention (p < 0.01), a 29% lower rate of subsequent diagnostic testing (p < 0.01), and a 53% lower rate of readmission (p < 0.01). Total and out-of-pocket costs were not significantly different (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In the US, LM appears to be the preferred treatment for achalasia. Both LM and PD appear to be safe interventions. Along a short time horizon, the costs of LM and PD were not different. Mirroring findings from randomized trials, LM is associated with fewer reinterventions, less diagnostic testing, and fewer hospitalizations.
Last Updated: 02 Mar 2015