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July 18, 1986

Study Questions Safety, Economic Benefits of Outpatient Tonsil/ Adenoid Surgery

JAMA. 1986;256(3):311-312. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380030013002

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"WE'RE ALL becoming cost conscious.... It stands to reason that if patients were to go home two to four hours after surgery, there could be a large savings. But we have to be careful that we don't compromise the patient's health. As our study states, you really should keep them eight hours after surgery, and by that time, there isn't much [cost] difference [involved in] keeping them overnight."

Such were the comments of Don E. Gebhart, MD, clinical professor of otolaryngology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus. He and colleague Jeffrey S. Carithers, MD, resident clinical instructor in otolaryngology at the university, presented evidence to counter current pressure on physicians to discharge tonsilloadenoidectomy (T and A) patients the same day of surgery. Based on an analysis of nearly 3000 T and A procedures, they argue that early discharge may be both hazardous and economically unwarranted. They reported their study