Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 1 (2):213-223 (1980)
A cost analysis of the utilization of new expensive vascular grafts is performed, applying the methodology of decision analysis to the theoretical case of a sixty year old male patient undergoing femoropopliteal grafting for limb threatening ischemia. The problem is presented graphically as a decision tree, uncertainties are quantified in terms of probabilities and end outcomes are evaluated in monetary terms. This informations is then utilized to calculate cost values associated with alternative actions.Based on initial cumulative patency figures of the new more expensive grafts and the known performance of the older grafts, the initial high expense for the new grafts is justified economically, if the saphenous vein is not available. This analysis, apart from giving an answer to a specific clinical problem, can be viewed as a general model for cost analysis of surgical procedures.
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