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Ian Grady MD, FACS, Tony Vasquez MD, PhD, Sara Tawfik MD, Sean Grady BS
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To evaluate the cost-efficacy of vacuum-assisted ultrasound-guided breast biopsy instruments compared to ultrasound-guided 14-gauge spring-loaded core-needle biopsy.
The American Society of Breast Surgeons’ Mastery of Breast Surgery Registry was reviewed. Biopsy findings, any rebiopsy, and the instrument used were abstracted for 31,451 ultrasound-guided biopsy procedures performed between 2001 and July 2014. Rates of cancer diagnosis and rebiopsy were calculated for each instrument. A linear mathematical model was developed to calculate total cost per cancer diagnosis, including procedural costs and the costs of any additional surgical rebiopsy procedures. Mean cost per cancer diagnosis with confidence limits was then determined for 14-gauge spring-loaded core-needle biopsy and 14 different vacuum-assisted instruments. For 14-gauge spring-loaded core-needle biopsy, mean cost per cancer diagnosis was $4346 (4327–$4366). For the vacuum-assisted instruments, mean cost per cancer diagnosis ranged from a low of $3742 ($3732–$3752) to a high of $4779 ($4750–$4809).
Vacuum-assisted instruments overall were more cost-effective than core with a mean cost per cancer diagnosis of $4052 ($4038–$4067) (p < 0.05). Tethered vacuum-assisted instruments performed best with a mean cost per cancer diagnosis of $3978 ($3964–$3991) (p < 0.05). Nontethered devices had a mean cost per cancer diagnosis of $4369 ($4350–$4388), a result no better than core (p < 0.05).
Ultrasound-guided vacuum-assisted breast biopsy had a lower mean cost per cancer diagnosis than 14-gauge spring-loaded core-needle biopsy. This advantage was only seen in tethered vacuum-assisted instruments. Within device families, larger instruments tended to outperform smaller instruments.
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