The development of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) has revolutionized the diagnostic approach to lung cancer and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. The capital costs associated with implementing EBUS are easily obtained from manufacturers, but the ongoing maintenance and repair costs are unknown.
The purpose of this study was to delineate the maintenance and repair costs associated with EBUS.
For the period between October 2005 and June 30, 2009, the number of procedures and the maintenance and repair costs for both EBUS and flexible bronchoscopes were recorded. Two BF-160UCF-OL8 (Olympus, Canada) linear convex EBUS bronchoscopes were used for EBUS procedures during the course of the study. Total costs were calculated on a yearly basis and on a per procedure basis for EBUS and standard bronchoscopes and are presented in Canadian and US dollars ($1 CAN=$0.88 USD).
During the period of October 2005 and June 2009, a total of 949 linear convex EBUS procedures and 2767 flexible bronchoscopies were carried out. During this period, 13 separate repair issues were encountered with the EBUS bronchoscopes and control unit. The total cost for maintenance and repair of the EBUS and flexible bronchoscopes was $110,151.46 ($96,933.28 USD) and $67,301.49 ($59,225.31 USD), respectively. The average cost per procedure for EBUS and flexible bronchoscopy was $116.00 ($102.08 USD) and $24.32 ($21.42 USD), respectively.
The cost of EBUS repairs per procedure is significant and illustrates the importance of understanding the ongoing maintenance issues inherent in these delicate pieces of medical equipment.
*Division of Respirology, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
†Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Disclosure: The University of Calgary receives grant money from Olympus Canada to fund an interventional fellowship program and an endobronchial ultrasound educational course. The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Reprints: Christopher A. Hergott, MD, FRCPC, FCCP, Division of Respirology, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Saskatchewan; 5th Floor Ellis Hall, Room 544, Royal University Hospital, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7N 0W8 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received for publication November 30, 2009; accepted May 12, 2010
Institution at which work was carried out: University of Calgary.Drs Hergott and Tremblay shared equally in collating data and preparing the manuscript.