Cost and operative time estimation itemized by component procedures of endoscopic sinus surgery

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2020 Jun;10(6):755-761. doi: 10.1002/alr.22554. Epub 2020 Mar 26.


Background: Endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) is a variable combination of individual procedures. Cost estimates for ESS as a single entity have wide variation, likely influenced by variation in procedures performed. We sought to identify operative time, supply costs, and total procedure cost specific to the component procedure combinations comprising ESS.

Methods: Bilateral ESS cases at 13 Intermountain Healthcare facilities (2008 to 2016) were identified from a database with corresponding cost and time data. Procedure details were obtained by chart review. Least-squares (LS) means of cost (in 2016 US dollars) and time for specific procedures were obtained by multivariable gamma regression models.

Results: Among 1477 bilateral ESS cases with 19 different procedure combinations, operative time ranged from 59.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 48.6-73.0) minutes for total ethmoid to 147.1 (95% CI, 126.4-171.2) minutes for full ESS with maxillary and sphenoid tissue removal. Sphenoidotomy had lowest total and supply costs (in US dollars) of $2112 (95% CI, $1672-$2667) and $636 (95% CI, $389-$1040), respectively. Total cost was highest for full ESS with maxillary tissue removal at $4640 (95% CI, $4115-$5232). Supply cost was highest for full ESS with maxillary and sphenoid tissue removal at $2191 (95% CI, $1649-$2909).

Conclusion: Operative time and costs for ESS vary depending on the procedures performed, demonstrating the importance of procedure specificity in assessment of ESS time, cost, and, ultimately, value. These procedure-specific estimates of cost enable nonbinary valuation of ESS, appropriate for the multitude of procedure options intended to optimize individual outcomes.

Keywords: clinical practice variation; delivery of health care; health-care costs; health-care reform; sinus surgery.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endoscopy / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Surgical Procedures / economics*
  • Operative Time*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies