BACKGROUND: In uncomplicated chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), a consensus regarding appropriate medical therapy (AMT) before surgical intervention has been published in the form of "appropriateness criteria" for endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). We sought to determine why tertiary surgeons may deviate from the suggested criteria and evaluated whether those deviations result in change in outcomes.METHODS: Patients with uncomplicated CRS were prospectively enrolled over the course of 1 year. The 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test (SNOT-22), a general health outcome out of 100, and a physician form, indicating management pathway and decision making, was completed at each visit over a 6-month follow-up period. A descriptive analysis was used to quantify reasons for veering from the "appropriateness criteria," and repeated linear regression modeling was used to measure whether compliance impacted SNOT-22, general health, and Lund-Kennedy (LK) scores over the period of study.RESULTS: One hundred fifty-five patients were enrolled. Sixty-eight percent followed the appropriate management pathway based on their presentation and the suggested criteria. Disparate reasons were documented for deviation in the other 32%, and, despite establishing several predictive categories, "other" was the most common reason, with various explanations well documented. SNOT-22, general health, and LK scores were not statistically impacted by compliancy status (p > 0.05).CONCLUSION: The suggested "appropriateness criteria" predict a management pathway for the majority of CRS patients. However, in a tertiary sinus center, surgeons may deviate from that model with a significant minority of their patients, for multiple reasons, without causing a change in outcomes.
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