percutaneous irreversible electroporation
or microwave ablation.
There is a paucity of data in the lit-
erature regarding the cost of percutane-
ous cryoablation and radiofrequency
ablation. Among the very few published
journal articles, there is an inconsis-
tency regarding the reporting of the cost,
charge, or reimbursement for these pro-
cedures (Table 2). Most of the published
data are more than 6 years old and the
actual dollar figures are not necessarily
reflective of current monetary values.
Furthermore, there has been no direct
comparison of the costs of ablation
modalities. There are myriad factors con-
tributing to the differences between the
costs of similar procedures performed by
different institutions, which renders com-
parison of the cost less reflective of the true
differences in the procedure cost and more
reflective of inter-institution variability.
Therefore, comparison of the cost of
cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation
performed by different institutions is not
necessarily a valid comparison unless the
technique and workflow are the same.
The purpose of this study is to com-
pare the procedure cost of treating the
same lesion with four ablation modali-
ties in a single institution: cryoablation,
radiofrequency ablation, microwave abla-
tion, and irreversible electroporation.
taBLE 1. Comparison of the Cost of Percutaneous Ablation (IR) to Open Ablation Procedures in the Operating Room (OR)
ir Or ir Or
RFA Hepatocellular carcinoma ( 7) 2002–2008 $7186 $11 809
RFA Liver metastasis ( 7) 2002–2008 $5768 $9882
Cryoablation of kidney tumors ( 8) 2003–2007 $14 175 $23 618
Cryoablation of kidney tumors ( 9) 2004–2006 $9240 $32 900
RFA, radiofrequency ablation.
Hospital stay cost or charge was included in the calculations. To date, there have been no published studies that have analyzed or reported the
finances of percutaneous irreversible electroporation or microwave ablation.
taBLE 2. Reported Average Cost, Charge, and Reimbursement for Percutaneous Treatment of Liver and Kidney Tumors by Radiofrequency
Ablation (RFA) and Cryoablation*
Data collected cost charge reimbursement
RFA hepatocellular carcinoma ( 7) 2002–2008 $7186 $7635
RFA liver metastasis ( 7) 2002–2008 $5768 $4329
RFA hepatocellular carcinoma ( 10) 2012 $9361
RFA primary liver tumors and metastasis ( 11) 1998–2000 $4322
Cryoablation of metastasis from NSCLC† ( 12) unknown§ $11 000
Cryoablation of metastasis from RCC‡ ( 12) unknown§ $12 800
Cryoablation of kidney tumors ( 8) 2003–2007 $14 175
Cryoablation of kidney tumors ( 9) 2004–2006 $9240 $4134
NSCLS, non-small cell lung cancer; RCC, renal cell carcinoma.
*It is unclear if the hospital stay charge was included in the calculations for Shetty et al and Bang et al ( 12 and 13). Hospital stay cost or charge was
included in the remainder of the calculations.
† This study reported cost of treatment of various NSCLC metastases to the lung, liver, adrenal glands, and paraarotic region.
‡This study reported cost of treatment of RCC metastasis to the nephrectomy bed, adrenal glands, paraaortic region, lung, bone, and peritoneum.
§ The time and duration of data collection was not reported. The article was published in 2012.