Corporate Support and Marketing

Corporate support is also a very important aspect in developing a laparoscopic practice. Equipment companies, hospitals, and one's own practice are great facilitators. This support comes in the form of training, educational materials, marketing opportunities, financial support, and patient referrals. An entire chapter could be dedicated to marketing a laparoscopic practice.

To a large degree, laparoscopy markets itself. However, one must take care to promote accurate expectations. Aggressive advertising and cash-only boutique practices imply near-perfect results. The best approach to marketing exists in the form of education. Sources for patients include a practice web site, brochures, prior patients, and community-targeted talks.

Of course, the best facilitators are hospital staff (particularly operating room staff), office staff, fellow physicians, and prior laparoscopic patients (and their family members). The smallest marketing opportunity can yield dividends in the future. As one's experience matures, data outcome analysis becomes the most valuable source of marketing material.

FIGURES ■ Elements for building a laparoscopic practice.

Specific technical modifications are often appropriate for the community urologist. For instance, in the absence of a motivated intern, the task of holding the camera is often best handled by the surgeon.

(%)

<5G

84

36

5G-6G

67

11

>6G

56

11

Overall

72

21

Abbreviation: PDEI, phosphodiesterase inhibitor.

Open Laparoscopic

Prostatectomy US $19,500 US $22,235 Radical nephrectomy US $16,500 US $15,600

To a large degree, laparoscopy markets itself. However, one must take care to promote accurate expectations. Aggressive advertising and cash-only boutique practices imply near-perfect results. The best approach to marketing exists in the form of education. Sources for patients include a practice web site, brochures, prior patients, and community-targeted talks.

FIGURES ■ Elements for building a laparoscopic practice.

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