Purpose of review: Although both cost and patient preference tend to favor the office-based setting, one must consider the hidden costs in managing complications and readmissions. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on safety outcomes of office-based procedures, as well as to identify common patient-specific factors that influence the decision for office-based surgery or impact patient outcomes.
Recent findings: Office-based anesthesia (OBA) success rates from the latest publications of orthopedic, plastic, endovascular, and otolaryngologic continue to improve. A common thread among these studies is the ability to predict which patients will benefit from going home the same day, as well as identifying comorbid factors that would lead to failure to discharge or readmission after surgery. Specifically, patients with active infection, cardiovascular disease, coagulopathy, insulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, poorly controlled hypertension, and thromboembolic disease are presumed to be poor candidates for outpatient office procedures.
Summary: Overall, anesthesia and surgery in the office is becoming increasingly safe. Recent data suggest that the improved safety in the office-based setting is attributable to proper patient selection. Anesthesiologists play a critical role in prescreening eligible patients to ensure a safe and productive process. Patients treated in the office seem to be selected based on their low risk for complications, and our review reflects this position.