BackgroundEarly experience with indocyanine green-based fluorescent cholangiography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy suggests the potential to improve outcomes. However, the cost-effectiveness of routine use has not been studied. Our objective was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of fluorescent cholangiography versus standard bright light laparoscopic cholecystectomy for noncancerous gallbladder disease.MethodsA Markov model decision analysis was performed comparing fluorescent cholangiography versus standard bright light laparoscopic cholecystectomy alone. Probabilities of outcomes, survival, toxicities, quality-adjusted life-years, and associated costs were determined from literature review and pooled analysis of currently available studies on fluorescent cholangiography (n = 37). Uncertainty in the model parameters was evaluated with 1-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, varying parameters up to 40% of their means. Cost-effectiveness was measured with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio expressed as the dollar amount per quality-adjusted life-year.ResultsThe model predicted that fluorescent cholangiography reduces lifetime costs by $1,235 per patient and improves effectiveness by 0.09 quality-adjusted life-years compared to standard bright light laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Reduced costs were due to a decreased operative duration (21.20 minutes, P < .0001) and rate of conversion to open (1.62% vs 6.70%, P < .0001) associated with fluorescent cholangiography. The model was not influenced by the rate of bile duct injury. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis found that fluorescent cholangiography was both more effective and less costly in 98.83% of model iterations at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/quality-adjusted life year.ConclusionThe current evidence favors routine use of fluorescent cholangiography during laparoscopic cholecystectomy as a cost-effective surgical strategy. Our model predicts that fluorescent cholangiography reduces costs while improving health outcomes, suggesting fluorescence imaging may be considered standard surgical management for noncancerous gallbladder disease. Further study with prospective trials should be considered to verify findings of this predictive model.