EMBARGOED UNTIL 11:15AM, May 17, 2022

Newswise — Boston, MA (May 17, 2022) - In comparison to data about video-assisted (VATS) lobectomy, retrospective data about robotic-assisted (RTS) lobectomies show such benefits as decreased postoperative pain, lower mortality, shorter chest tube duration, shorter hospital stays, and reduced incidences of postoperative pulmonary complications. Despite these potential benefits, acceptance and adoption of RTS have been slow because of the lack of prospective data and the perceived higher cost.

The two-phase, prospective RAVAL trial is the first blinded, multi-center, international study to compare RTS- and VATS-lobectomy for early-stage, non-small cell lung cancer. Today Waël Hanna, MD, Director of Research, Boris Family Centre for Robotic surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, presented results of Phase A, which studied the differences between the two techniques in patient-reported, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and compared the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), which is tied to improvements in quality of care (dollars/quality-of-life year gained [QALY]). 

The patients answered questionnaires at intervals during 12 months. Their type of surgery was not revealed until after the 12-month follow-up. Descriptive systems and analog scales assessed such factors as mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, anxiety/depression, and the patient’s reintegration to normal living—daily activity, recreational activity, and family roles. On the basis of a quality-of-life questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L), the HRQOL scores were better for the RTS arms.

The more significant finding for this study was the ICER. For any new technology, an ICER of <$50,000/QALY is considered favorable and should be adopted. The lower the ICER, the more favorable the adoption. In this study, the ICER was $14,925/QALY. Dr. Hanna says, “This is important because third-party payers (governments, insurance) tend to claim that robotic surgery is too expensive…and using the highest quality data from a prospective blinded randomized trial, we just showed it is not.” 



Presented by Dr. Waël Hanna, May 17, 2022, at the AATS 102nd Annual Meeting


The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) is an international organization that encourages, promotes, and stimulates the scientific investigation of cardiothoracic surgery. Founded in 1917 by a respected group of the earliest pioneers in the field, its original mission was to “foster the evolution of an interest in surgery of the Thorax.” Today, the AATS is the premiere association for cardiothoracic surgeons in the world and works to continually enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality of patient care. Its more than 1,500 members have a proven record of distinction within the specialty and have made significant contributions to the care and treatment of cardiothoracic disease. Visit www.aats.org to learn more. 

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AATS 102nd Annual Meeting