New Medical Equipment vs. Used Medical Equipment

While brand new equipment can look good and elevate the status of your surgery or healthcare center, it could be at the expense of a patient's hospital bill, which makes quality used medical equipment a better alternative. A new study suggests that parents would opt for open surgery for simple procedures, such as an appendectomy, for their children to reduce costs.

As reported by Elisabeth Rosenthal in her article for The New York Times, a recent study conducted by the Annals of Surgery discovered that when parents were asked to decide which form of surgery they would prefer for their children to undergo, provided that the outcomes were the same, they often chose the cheaper option.

Though American surgeons almost always favor the minimally invasive procedure, the results of the two types of procedures are similar in children, studies show. "Cost is really the only difference-- there's no difference in outcome," Dr. Scaife noted in a telephone interview.

When told that and given the price quotes, nearly two-thirds of the parents selected the cheaper open procedure. Parents given price information were 1.8 times as likely to choose the cheaper option than others. 31 percent of parents given the information said it had been a primary influence in their decision.

On the other hand, Dr. Eric Scaife, from the University of Utah Health Sciences, also said that minimally invasive procedures, most of the time conducted with an endoscope, are the best for children:

The minimally invasive approach leaves a somewhat smaller scar and is better for overweight children, Dr. Scaife said. But in lean children there is no difference in infection rates, length of stay in the hospital or the length of time before the child returns to normal activities.

Since the first endoscopic surgery in the late 1980s, people have become more curious about minimally invasive procedures and their advantages, including a shorter healing time and fewer side effects. While American surgeons have started to embrace and prefer endoscopic surgeries rather than the traditional open surgeries, the recent study from the Annals of Surgery suggests that parents would rather risk a longer recovery period just so they could save money.

Surgery centers that wish to encourage patients to opt for minimally invasive procedures can invest in effective yet affordable refurbished medical equipment like those offered by UsedStryker. By doing so, clients or patients (both potential and actual) won't have to shoulder the expensive price tag that came with the endoscope or any other equipment that were used for their or their child's treatment.

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