Table 4

Comparative costing by model of care for an individual patient

Model 1Model 2Model 3
WLE+axillary dissectionWLE+SLNBDelayed completionWLE+SLNB+qRT-PRWLE+SLNB+qRT-PCR with immediate completion
Theatre time per patient11994100103133
Length of stay (days)3.12.13.02.22.7
Cost per operation (£)24652248229626363339
Cost per case (£)246528912833
  • Completion refers to the 28% of patients with a positive sentinel lymph node who required completion axillary dissection.

  • Model 1, wide local excision (WLE) with axillary clearance; Model 2, WLE with sentinal node biopsy (SLNB) and later immunohistochemistry; Model 3, WLE with SLNB assessed by quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) assay.