Comparing 30-Day Morbidity and Mortality in Pediatric and Adult Otologic Surgery

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To determine differences in timing and rate of postoperative adverse events among pediatric and adult populations undergoing specific otologic procedures.

Study Design

Administrative database study.


Multi-institutional database.

Subjects and Methods

The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and NSQIP-Pediatric (NSQIP-P) were used to extract data from 819 adults (years 2005-2010) and 7020 children (years 2012-2014) undergoing tympanoplasty and (tympano)mastoidectomy, respectively. Simple summary statistics, χ2, and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed.


There were no significant differences in overall adverse event rates between adults (2.9%) and children (2.3%) (P = .233). Adults experienced infectious complications more frequently than did children (0.4% vs 0.0%, P = .002). Postdischarge complications accounted for 83.7% of all complications. Children treated by pediatric otolaryngologists had higher readmission rates (odds ratio [OR], 2.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-3.60; P = .002). Tympanomastoidectomy was associated with higher odds of reoperation (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03; P < .001), as was undergoing a concurrent procedure that did not include myringotomy (OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.47-7.79; P = .004).


Both adult and pediatric otologic surgery are safe, with patients experiencing similarly low complication rates. Most adverse events occur after discharge.

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