Safety in office-based anesthesia: an updated review of the literature from 2016 to 2019

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2019 Dec;32(6):749-755. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000794.


Purpose of review: Office-based anesthesia (OBA) is rapidly growing across the world. Availability of less invasive interventions has facilitated the opportunity of offering new procedures in office-based settings to patient populations that would not have been considered in the past. This article provides a practical approach to discuss and analyze newest literature supporting different practices in the field of OBA. In addition, an update of the most recent guidelines and practice management directives is included.

Recent findings: Selected procedures may be performed in the office-based scenario with exceedingly low complication rates, when the right patient population is selected, and adequate safety protocols are followed. Current regulations are focused on reducing surgical risk through the implementation of patient safety protocols and practice standardization. Strategies include cognitive aids for emergencies, safety checklists, facility accreditation standards among other.

Summary: New evidence exists supporting procedures in the office-based scenario in areas such as plastic and cosmetic surgery, dental and oral surgery, ophthalmology, endovascular procedures and otolaryngology. Different systematic approaches have been developed (guidelines and position statements) to promote standardization of safe practices through emergency protocols, safety checklists, medication management and surgical risk reduction. New regulations and accreditation measures have been developed to homogenize practice and promote high safety standards.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Anesthesia*
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety / standards*