The development of minimally invasive techniques and increasing performance of surgery in outpatient settings have had a major influence on otolaryngologyhead and neck surgery (OLHNS), but little is known about the extent to which these forces have affected the overall distribution and total rate of performance of OLHNS procedures. The aims of this study were to determine whether there has been a change in the total number of people undergoing OLHNS procedures between 1989 and 1992 in Maryland and to identify those procedures for which there has been a significant change in utilization. Data were obtained on 171,579 patients undergoing OLHNS procedures between 1989 and 1992 in Maryland's nonfederal, acute care hospitals, hospital-based outpatient centers, and freestanding multispecialty surgical centers. Age-adjusted annual surgical rates were calculated by direct standardization using 1990 Maryland census data, and changes in rates over time were examined using linear regression. From 1989 to 1992, there was no significant change in the total age-adjusted annual rate of performance of the most commonly performed OLHNS procedures (P>0.05), yet there was a significant increase (P<0.05) in the rates of ethmoidectomy from 37/100,000 to 73/100,000, intranasal antrotomy from 25/100,000 to 44/100,000, and septoplasty from 70/100,000 to 89/100,000, and a significant decrease (P>0.05) in the rate of rhinoplasty from 44/100,000 to 36/100,000. The data show an annual average decrease in inpatient surgery of 5.2% (P=0.006), and a corresponding increase in outpatient surgery of 5.1% (P=0.005). Maryland surgeryrates for commonly performed procedures in OLHNS remained stable overall, except for an increase in sinus surgery and septoplasty rates and a decrease in rhinoplasty rates.
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