Comparison of direct costs associated with the use of balanced general anesthesia and total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) techniques

Keywords: Cost and cost analysis, Anesthesia, general, Anesthesia, intravenous, Balanced anesthesia, Drug cost, Economics


Introduction: Healthcare costs are increasing against the backdrop of scarce resources. Surgical procedures are an important part of healthcare spending, and the cost of anesthetic techniques is relevant as part of the total cost of care and it is a potential target for expenditure optimization. Although important economic differences have been reported internationally for general anesthesia options, there are no publications in Colombia that compare current costs and allow for informed and financially responsible decision-making.

Objective: To quantify and compare direct costs associated with the various general anesthesia options most frequently used at the present time.

Methods: Cost minimization analysis based on a theoretical model of balanced general anesthesia using isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane in combination with remifentanil, and TIVA (propofol and remifentanil). Initial results were obtained using a deterministic simulation method and a sensitivity analysis was performed using a Monte Carlo simulation.

Results: The average total cost per case for the different anesthetic techniques was COP 126381 for sevoflurane, COP 97706 for isoflurane, COP 288605 for desflurane and COP 222 960 for TIVA.

Conclusions: Balanced general anesthesia with desflurane is the most costly alternative, 1.2 times more expensive than TIVA, and 2 and 3 times more costly than balanced anesthesia with sevoflurane and isoflurane, respectively. TIVA ranks second with a cost 1.8 times higher than balanced anesthesia with sevoflurane and 2.5 times higher than balanced anesthesia with isoflurane.


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Guevara-Farias JC, Rincón-Valenzuela DA, Gómez-Ardila C. Comparison of direct costs associated with the use of balanced general anesthesia and total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) techniques. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2022Apr.1 [cited 2022May20];50(2). Available from:


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How to Cite
Guevara-Farias JC, Rincón-Valenzuela DA, Gómez-Ardila C. Comparison of direct costs associated with the use of balanced general anesthesia and total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) techniques. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2022Apr.1 [cited 2022May20];50(2). Available from:
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