Fetoscopic compared with open repair of myelomeningocele: a 2-delivery cost-effectiveness analysis.
BACKGROUND Recent studies have compared maternal and neonatal outcomes associated with fetoscopic surgical approach for repair of myelomeningocele compared with an open approach. OBJECTIVE In this study, we compared the cost-effectiveness of these techniques in the setting of a woman seeking future pregnancies. STUDY DESIGN A decision-analytical model using TreeAge software was designed to compare the costs and outcomes of fetoscopic vs open repair in patients with prenatally diagnosed myelomeningocele. We assumed a theoretical cohort of 500 women with a pregnancy affected by myelomeningocele planning to have a future pregnancy. Our model accounted for costs and quality-adjusted life years of the woman, the neonate with myelomeningocele, and the neonate in a subsequent pregnancy. Neonatal outcomes from the incident pregnancy included motor function >2 levels better than the anatomic level, motor function RESULTS In the index pregnancy, fetoscopic surgical technique resulted in 140 fewer cases of preterm birth and fewer cases of neurodevelopmental disability and neonatal death. Fetoscopic technique resulted in 130 more cases of functional level >2 levels better than the anatomic level, 35 fewer cases of functional level >2 levels worse than the anatomic level, and 107 fewer cases of function same as the anatomic level. In the subsequent pregnancy, fetoscopic surgery led to 22 fewer cases of delivery complications (uterine dehiscence, uterine rupture, and excessive bleeding), 24 fewer cases of stillbirth, and 22 fewer cases of preterm birth. Although the fetoscopic approach was more costly, it was cost-effective with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $1029 per quality-adjusted life year in our theoretical cohort of 500 patients. Monte Carlo probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that fetoscopic technique is cost-effective 100% of the time. CONCLUSION In our theoretical cohort, the fetoscopic approach was more costly, but resulted in improved outcomes when a subsequent pregnancy was considered.