Routine hospital admission for patients undergoing upper aerodigestive tract endoscopy is unwarranted

Crystine M. Lee, Brad A. Hinrichs, David J. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although upper aerodigestive tract endoscopy is commonly performed, the need for hospital admission remains controversial. A retrospective review of endoscopy performed between January 1, 1993, and June 30, 1995, identified 201 patients who underwent 371 procedures. Complications occurred in 34 of 371 (9.2%) procedures in 26 of 201 (12.9%) patients. Of these, 11 of 371 (3.0%) were major (requiring admission for management) and 23 of 371 (6.2%) were minor. For multiple concurrent procedures, the overall complication rate was 19.3% (22/114); 5.3% (6/114) were major and 14.0% (16/114) were minor. All 8 patients (100%) who went on to have major complications and 24 of the 26 (92.3%) who went on to have any complication were successfully identified prior to discharge; 2 required postdischarge outpatient management of urinary retention. Five statistically significant risk factors for complication were identified: preexisting cardiac conditions, American Society of Anesthesiologists rating, airway class rating, anesthesia type, and number of endoscopic procedures performed. A comparison of various approaches to hospital admission demonstrated that selective admission based on clinical judgment was superior to routine admission of all patients. In conclusion, we recommend that upper tract endoscopy be performed on an ambulatory basis because 1) the complication rate is low, 2) complications requiring inpatient management are identifiable in the immediate postoperative period, and 3) of the approaches to hospital admission examined, it was the most economical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Endoscopy
  • Hospital admission
  • Risk factors
  • Upper aerodigestive tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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