DOI: 10.1002/lary.31005 ISSN:

Environmental Sustainability: Waste Audit Comparison Operating Roomand In‐Office Laryngeal Surgery

Jennifer Anderson, Huixin Hu
  • Otorhinolaryngology


With vast improvements in imaging and endoscopic technology, there has been a massive shift towards in office procedures for various laryngeal disorders with significant health system and patient benefits. Another benefit which has yet to be investigated is the potential environmental effects and waste reduction of in‐office laryngeal procedures over traditional operating room surgery.


The purpose of this study is to perform a waste audit and compare the results between operating room and in‐office laser laryngeal surgery.


Ten cases of in‐office and operating room laser laryngeal surgery, performed for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, were subjected to a waste audit with four waste streams identified. Recyclable, general waste, anesthesia source and sharps. All waste was included from the time of case preparation to termination.


The cases were extremely homogeneous in the waste produced. The mean waste total produced for the operating room laser surgery was 2972 g of which 18% was recoverable/recyclable. Contamination rate was very low. Recycling was performed very well by nursing/prep staff; however, anesthesia was not recovering 13% of potential materials.

The in‐office waste produced was approximately one tenth of the operating room waste with almost all delegated into general waste. Potentially divertible/recyclable materials accounted for 38% of the waste in‐office procedures.


In‐office laryngeal procedures produce 13% of waste compared to surgery performed for similar pathology. These procedures are cost effective, safe and have been demonstrated to enhance environmental sustainability.

Level of Evidence

N/A Laryngoscope, 2023

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