Intravenous sedation vs general anesthesia for pediatric otolaryngology procedures

Samuel G. Shiley, Kirk Lalwani, Henry A. Milczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare efficacy, safety, and hospital charges for common pediatric otolaryngology procedures with the use of intravenous sedation (IVS) vs general anesthesia (GA). Design: Retrospective chart study. Setting: Hospital-based pediatric otolaryngology practice. Patients: Patients younger than 18 years who underwent tympanostomy tube removal and/or patch myringoplasty with absorbable gelatin sponge, nasal ciliary biopsy, fine-needle aspiration, or other minor procedures between September 1, 1998, and August 31, 2001. Interventions: Procedures performed in 2 settings: outpatient clinic with IVS or operating room with GA. Main Outcome Measures: Procedure completion rate, tympanic membrane perforation rate after ear procedures, complications, and hospital charges. Results: Of 103 procedures, 54 were performed with IVS and 49 with GA. Within the GA group, 32 of 49 patients had additional operations performed and were excluded from analysis of safety and hospital charges. Procedure completion rate was 100% in both groups. The most common procedure was tympanostomy tube removal with patch myringoplasty (IVS, 52 ears; GA, 42 ears). The rate of persistent tympanic membrane perforation was similar between these groups (IVS, 7 [16%] of 45 ears; GA, 5 [15%] of 33; P=.96). All complications were minor and occurred at similar rates (IVS, 10 [19%] of 54 ears; GA, 3 [18%] of 17; P=.94). These events included hypoxia, airway obstruction, and bradycardia, all of which resolved spontaneously or responded to noninvasive interventions such as oxygen or repositioning. Average hospital charges were significantly higher for the GA group (IVS, $356.22; GA, $1516.55; P<.001). Conclusion: Various procedures can be performed safely, effectively, and with decreased hospital charges with the use of IVS administered by a pediatric sedation service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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