Many experts feel that in the absence of well-defined goals for success, they have an easier time identifying failure. As success ought to not be defined only by absence of failure, we aimed to define optimal outcomes for endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) by obtaining expert surgeon perspectives.
A total of 12 surgeons participated in this targeted consultation. Face to face semi-structured interviews were performed with expert surgeons in the field of CRS and ESS. General impressions and personal definitions of acceptable operative success and optimal operative outcomes were compiled and summarized.
According to an expert survey, patients’ main objectives are an improvement in their chief complain, a general improvement in quality of life (QoL), and a better overall symptomatic control. The most important aspects of endoscopy for defining a successful intervention were an adequate mucus circulation, a healthy mucosa, minimal edema, and patency of all explored cavities or ostia. In the assessment of surgical outcomes, it was determined that both objective and patient reported data must be carefully examined, with more attention given to subjective outcomes.
According to data gathered from a Canadian expert consultation, a definition of success must be based on both subjective data and nasal endoscopy. We propose to define an acceptable outcome as either a subjective improvement of at least the minimal clinically improvement difference of a validated patient reported outcome questionnaire, along with a satisfactory endoscopic result (1) or a complete subjective resolution with a sub-optimal endoscopy (2).