Abstract Traditionally major ear surgery in children has been regarded as an in-patient procedure. Evidence from the USA for adults, however, concludes that it is both safe and effective to perform many major ear procedures as day cases. We have been carrying out major ear operations on children as day cases routinely for six years in a dedicated children’s day unit and examined our data to find out whether it was both safe and feasible to perform major ear surgery in children on a day-case basis. As our main outcome measure we used the rate of unplanned admissions.
We found that the unplanned admission rate for surgery, excluding mastoid surgery, was 6.7 per cent and that procedures such as myringoplasty, ossiculoplasty, bilateral pinnaplasty, meatoplasty and tympanotomy with excision of cholesteatoma, were eminently suitable for day surgery.