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Nasal septal surgery: evaluation of symptomatic and general health outcomes

Lookup NU author(s): Jo Gray, Emerita Professor Janet WilsonORCiD


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Although septoplasty and submucous resections are common procedures, there have been very few studies on the outcome of nasal septal surgery. This prospective study of two hundred patients undergoing septal surgery used the Fairley nasal symptom score, the Nottingham health profile, a general health questionnaire and clinical examination of nasal cavities to assess the outcome. A wide range of baseline severity scores was observed. Almost 40% of patients failed to attend for review. Analysis of the outcomes in the remaining 121 patients revealed significant improvement in (a) nasal obstruction in 74%, (b) facial pain in 72%, and (c) catarrh in 64% of patients. There was a lack of correlation between observed postoperative reduction in the number of nasal septal areas deviated and improvement in nasal obstruction. The Nottingham health profile and general health questionnaire scores remained unchanged in a large majority of patients. Postoperative improvement in nasal obstruction was independent of grade of surgeon or concomitant lateral nasal wall surgery. The principal benefits of septal surgery relate to improvement in nasal symptoms. The generic quality-of-life measures such as the Nottingham health profile and general health questionnaire did not show significant improvement in quality of life. Our results support the use of disease-specific instruments to evaluate the outcome of septal surgery.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilson JA; Gray J; Arunachalam PS; Kitcher E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Otolaryngology

Year: 2001

Volume: 26

Issue: 5

Pages: 367-370

ISSN (print): 1749-4478

ISSN (electronic): 1749-4486

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.0307-7772.2001.00481.x


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