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Title: Cutaneous laser surgery for secondary burn reconstruction : cost benefit analysis
Authors: Azzopardi, Ernest A.
Duncan, Robert T.
Kearns, Mollie
Marangoni, Francesco
Ibrahim, Nader
Boyce, Dean
Tretti Clementoni, Matteo
Murison, Maxwell
Keywords: Burns and scalds -- Patients -- Treatment
Wounds and injuries -- Infections
Skin -- Laser surgery
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Citation: Azzopardi, E. A., Duncan, R. T., Kearns, M., Marangoni, F., Ibrahim, N., Azzopardi, E. A., ... & Mursion, M. S. (2020). Cutaneous laser surgery for secondary burn reconstruction: Cost benefit analysis. Burns, 46(3), 561-566.
Abstract: Thermal disease presents a major burden to individual patient morbidity, healthcare cost as well as to over all economy. Burns also also represent a significant per-patient utlilisation of finitehealthcare resources. Secondary complications inthesepatients, suchasmultiple drug resistant organisms, may have a devastating effect. Laser surgeryhas recently come of age as anoptimaltoolinthe secondary reconstructionof burn injury, that is able to simultaneously address significant sheet scar tightness, hypertrophic, atrophic, and keloid complications, pruritus, microstomia, ectropion, skin graft honeycombing, andimproverangeofmovementwhilst reducingtheriskofinfectionto<1%.Yet, cutaneous laser surgery is often underutilised due to the perceived concerns about the sustainability of a new service with relatively high startup cost. We present a dual methodology to explore this concern: an evidence-based background review of the last 5 years of current best evidence, and a 22-year cost-analysis comparison at an established, high volume UK Centre of reconstructive surgery. We report that fiscal viability for laser surgery services for secondary burn reconstruction is supported by: level 2 (one systematic review) level 4 evidence (2 studies) and level 5 evidence (expert reports). Evidence over 22 years from an established super-regional NHS laser centre shows that introduction of this service led to sustained and substantial cost saving, producing excellent surgical results at a fraction of the cost of traditional surgery. Analysis ofthe potential dollar-effect ofthese advantages to the general population supports state investment in expertise and capital equipment as a medium to long-term cost saving strategy, which may also aid re-integrating patients into the workforce making a meaningful contribution to the economy.
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