The article, “Conflicting Evidence on Tobacco’s Effect on ESS Outcomes” (March 2012 issue), misquoted David Kennedy, MD, professor of rhinology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia.
Explore this issue:April 2012
The published article described Dr. Kennedy’s professional opinion as follows:
Dr. Kennedy said he refuses to do elective surgery unless the patient has quit smoking for approximately six weeks prior to surgery. He will operate on smokers if there are complications of the sinusitis or a neoplasm.
“We look primarily at the endoscopic outcomes, not just quality of life,” Dr. Kennedy said, noting that persistent asymptomatic disease is common after ESS in smokers. “All patients feel better after ESS, so it probably doesn’t matter if all you’re looking for is symptom improvement in the short to medium-term follow-up period. It probably doesn’t make a lot of difference if the patient continues smoking.
The last sentence of that quote should have stated:
“For that outcome, it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference if the patient continues smoking.”
In addition, the article also includes a photograph of Dr. Kennedy with the incorrect quote.
We apologize if readers interpreted this incorrect quote to mean that Dr. Kennedy does not believe that quitting smoking will improve patients’ longterm endoscopic sinus surgery outcomes and overall general health. In fact, Dr. Kennedy has long been a proponent for encouraging patients to quit smoking. According to a long-term study that he coauthored, continued patient smoking was a major determinant of outcome following ESS, and all patients with advanced disease who continued to smoke required revision surgery over an eight-year period, in comparison to an overall 18 percent surgical revision rate (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1999 July;121(1): 66-680).
We sincerely apologize to Dr. Kennedy and our readers for any misinterpretations that may have resulted from this error.