Risks and medico-legal aspects of endoscopic sinus surgery: a review

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Aug;271(8):2103-17. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2652-4. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


The aim of this study was to perform a systematic literature review of risks and medico-legal aspects of endoscopic sinus surgery. The development of sophisticated technologies and instruments for endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) has caused a dramatic increase in the number of otolaryngologists performing sinus surgery and the number of cases performed. This expansion was accompanied by an increase in malpractice lawsuits. Over the past 20 years, rhinology claims represented 70 % of the total indemnity compensation for otolaryngology claims and ESS was the surgical procedure most often involved. Only then will a careful analysis and assessment of the possible and potential risk factors of ESS, which may mislead the surgeon, allow a correct clinical risk management, with activities and procedures aimed at reducing the possibility of complications that may expose the physician to a malpractice suit.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Medical Errors* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Errors* / prevention & control
  • Otolaryngology / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / surgery*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / surgery*
  • Risk Assessment