4.1 The sponsor claimed that the MAGEC system reduces the number of surgical procedures needed to treat children with scoliosis compared with conventional growth rods, because rod lengthenings and distractions are carried out non-invasively in an outpatient setting. This reduces resource use such as operating theatre and clinical time, as well as reducing the risk of complications needing hospital treatment, such as side effects from anaesthesia or infection.
4.2 Having reviewed the clinical evidence and expert advice, the Committee was satisfied that using the MAGEC system could reduce the number of surgical procedures for each child by avoiding the need for operations to lengthen conventional growth rods. This would also reduce associated NHS resource use.
4.3 The Committee was advised that the population of children for whom the MAGEC system would be considered is small, but that the potential for releasing operating theatre and clinical time and shortening hospital stays by avoiding repeated surgical procedures could be substantial. The Committee also noted that resource use for treating complications associated with surgery, such as infection, could be reduced.
4.4 The Committee was advised that MAGEC growth rod lengthenings are often carried out in a single clinic, specially arranged so that a number of children can be treated. This allows more effective use of resources through reduced courier costs for the external remote control.
4.5 The Committee was advised that the MAGEC system may reduce the need for spinal cord monitoring and its associated costs. Spinal cord monitoring is used to assess neurological function during insertion of MAGEC or conventional growth rods, and in some children during conventional growth rod lengthening. However, it is not needed during lengthening of the MAGEC system rods because the child is awake and any changes in function can be observed.