Cost savings of unsedated office-based laser surgery for laryngeal papillomas

Catherine J. Rees, Gregory N. Postma, Jamie A. Koufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objectives: Unsedated office-based laryngeal laser surgery (UOLS) is now an effective alternative to traditional operating room-based suspension microdirect laryngoscopy under general anesthesia. This procedure includes pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomas, granulomas, leukoplakia, and polypoid degeneration. The objective of this study was to determine the magnitude of the cost savings derived by moving these types of procedures from the operating room to the office setting. Methods: Retrospective cost-identification analysis was performed by comparing the billing records of patients who underwent surgical laser treatment for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis in the operating room to the costs and charges for patients who underwent similar procedures with the in-office PDL. Results: In performing surgery with the PDL in the office, the average cost savings was more than $5,000 per case. Current reimbursement rates do not cover the cost of performing UOLS. Conclusions: The potential cost savings of UOLS are tremendous; however, at present significant financial disincentives prevent proliferation of this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost
  • Pulsed dye laser
  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis
  • Unsedated office-based laryngeal laser surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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