Purpose of review
A wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic laryngology procedures
are currently performed in an office setting. In-office laryngology procedures
(IOLP) are increasingly seen as standard-of-care, and while generally considered safe, high-quality evidence supporting the latter statement is lacking. This review aims to summarize recent literature regarding the safety of IOLP.
There is a paucity of guidelines and standardized protocols for IOLP. To date, there is one available safety protocol specific to in-office laser procedures. Haemodynamic changes during IOLP have been documented and the significance of these changes continues to be unclear. Therefore, monitoring of vital signs is recommended. Continuing antithrombotic therapy during IOLP also appears safe, and this decision may be left to surgeon discretion. A protocol for management of antithrombotic therapy prior to in-office laser procedures is available. Actual serum lidocaine levels following topical application of mixed lidocaine preparations falls well below reported toxic levels but persists for longer than previously reported.
IOLP are safer that suspension laryngoscopy under general anaesthetic. Although complication rates of IOLP are low, patient characteristics and potential complications of both the procedure and of topical anaesthetic use must be considered. One must be prepared and equipped to deal with these potential complications.