Patient level decision making in recurrent acute rhinosinusitis: A cost-benefit threshold for surgery

Randy Leung*, Stella Almassian, Robert Kern, David Conley, Bruce Tan, Rakesh Chandra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: A previous effort to identify the threshold for surgery in recurrent acute rhinosinsutis (RARS) was made based on workforce productivity. While this macroeconomic approach is useful for population-level decision making, patient-level decision making is variable and driven by personal and financial implications. This microeconomic study seeks to identify threshold levels of infection where surgery becomes worthwhile to patients based on costs, lost income, and quality of life. Study Design: Cost-Benefit Breakeven Analysis. Methods: A breakeven analysis was constructed from literature reported medical and surgical response rates, change in quality of life as a result of intervention, and costs to patients. Results: A breakeven threshold occurs when patients suffer from 1.3-2.8 episodes per year under the conservative assumption that the effects of surgery do not extend beyond 19 months a- the longest outcomes reported. Discussion: Due to possible confusion with URTIs, we have adopted an approach similar to that advocated by the Rhinosinusitis Task Force. Given the average number of URTIs suffered by adults annually is 1.4-2.3. We suggest adding this to the threshold number of episodes calculated in the present model. Under the most conservative assumptions, this suggests that patients should consider surgery when suffering from five or more episodes per year. Laryngoscope, 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Level of Evidence: 2a
  • Recurrent acute rhinosinusitis
  • breakeven analysis
  • health economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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