a1 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, The Edith Cavell Hospital, Peterborough, UK.
A study was carried out to compare the effectiveness of nasal splints (in preventing intranasal adhesions) with the morbidity associated with their use in nasal surgery. One hundred and ten patients undergoing a routine nasal operation were randomly allocated into two equal groups, one with splints and the other without. Post-operative pain and discomfort was assessed by a visual analogue scale at 48 hours and a week following surgery when either nasal suction (non-splinted group) or removal of splints was carried out. All patients were examined after six weeks for development of adhesions.
Results showed that there was no significant difference in the incidence of adhesions between the splinted and non-splinted patient groups. However, the patients with splints had significantly more pain and nasal discomfort when assessed one week after surgery.
It is concluded that the morbidity associated with nasal splints does not justify their use in routine nasal surgery if the aim is to prevent nasal adhesions, but they may still be indicated for enhancing the stability of the septum following septoplasty.
(Accepted April 27 1999)
c1 Address for correspondence: Mr A. G. Pfleiderer, Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, The Edith Cavell Hospital, Bretton Gate, Peterborough PE3 9GZ.