Postoperative pain with or without nasal splints after septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction

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American journal of otolaryngology


PURPOSE: To determine the effect of intranasal Doyle splints on postoperative pain following septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction (ITR). Changes in Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) scores were also evaluated.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective cohort study conducted from January 2017 to January 2019. Patients were recruited if they experienced nasal obstruction due to septal deviation and inferior turbinate hypertrophy, and failed a one-month trial of intranasal corticosteroids. All patients underwent septoplasty with ITR, and either had Doyle splints or no splints placed. Patients were prescribed hydrocodone-acetaminophen 5-325 mg and asked to keep a daily log of pain medication use and visual analog scale (VAS) scores. Pain logs and NOSE scores were compared between patients who had splints versus patients who had no splints placed after septoplasty and ITR over the first postoperative week. NOSE scores were also collected at every postoperative visit (1 week, 1 month, and 6 months).

RESULTS: Fifty-seven patients were enrolled (37 splints, 20 no-splints). The median postoperative pain VAS score was 3.0 (interquartile range [IQR] 2.0-5.0) for the splint group and 4.0 (IQR 2.0-5.0) for the no-splint group (P = 0.906). The median postoperative pain medication requirement in morphine equivalents at the first postoperative visit was 5.4 mg/day (IQR 2.0-13.3) for the splint group and 8.4 mg/day (IQR 1.8-15.3) for the no-splint group (P = 0.833).

CONCLUSIONS: There were no statistically significant differences in postoperative pain VAS scores or pain medication use between the two groups. All patients experienced significant reductions in NOSE scores postoperatively.

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