Analysis examines surgery in physician offices

Study: Death, injury is 10 times more likely

Death or injury is 10 times more likely to occur in a doctor’s office than at outpatient clinics, according to a just-published review of surgeries performed in U.S. doctors’ offices.1 The authors analyzed adverse incident reports filed with Florida officials for surgery centers and physicians’ offices over a two-year period from 2000 to 2002.

Sixty-six adverse events occurred per 100,000 procedures performed in offices compared to 5.3 problems per 100,000 procedures performed in surgery centers, according to the study. The death rate per 100,000 procedures was 9.2 in offices and 0.78 in the centers, it said. If all office procedures had been performed in surgery centers, approximately 43 injuries and six deaths per year could have been prevented, according to the authors.

(For more on how to avoid risk in the office setting, see next month’s issue of Same-Day Surgery.)


1. Vila H, Soto R, Cantor AB, et al. Comparative outcomes analysis of procedures performed in physician offices and ambulatory surgery centers. Arch Surg 2003; 138:991-995.