Quality of life and symptoms before and after nasal septoplasty compared with healthy individuals
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background The goal of this study is to compare quality of life (Qol) and symptoms in 91 patients with a deviated nasal septum preoperatively and postoperatively with a control group of 93 healthy individuals. Methods All patients reported Qol on Sino-Nasal-Outcome-Test-20 (SNOT-20) and symptoms on visual analogue scale (VAS) preoperatively and 6 months after surgery and the results were compared with the controls. Results Mean SNOT-20 score improved from 1.8(SD0.9) preoperatively to 0.9(SD0.8) postoperatively (p < 0.000) but did not reach the same level as the controls 0.4(SD0.5). Septum surgery leads to a significant symptom improvement for all symptoms investigated (p < 0.000) on VAS. The patients reached the same level as the healthy controls in 6 of 11 symptoms (headache, facial pain, sneezing, trouble with rhinosinusitis, cough and snoring) but the patients group had significantly more trouble with nasal blockage (VAS 29 vs 9), change in sense of smell (VAS 12 vs5), nasal discharge (VAS 22 vs 11), oral breathing (VAS 23 vs 13) and reduced general health (VAS 12 vs 5) also postoperatively (p < 0.01). Sub analyses showed that allergic patients reported a VAS score of 36 (SD30) for nasal blockage and 17 (SD22) for facial pressure postoperatively versus 23(SD22) and 6(SD13) in non-allergic patients (p < 0.03 and p < 0.01). Patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) reported more trouble with snoring on VAS postoperatively than other patients, 42(SD28) versus 20(SD23) (p < 0.002). Conclusion Septoplasty leads to a highly significant improvement in Qol and symptoms. The patients do not reach the same level of Qol as healthy controls. All symptoms are reported as mild on VAS postoperatively. Allergic patients tend to report more nasal blockage and facial pressure postoperatively than other patients and a focus on medical treatment should be kept also postoperatively. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea report more trouble with snoring postoperatively and alterative treatment options for snoring may be considered in these patients.