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Objective usefulness of thin silastic septal splints after septal surgery

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Background:

Silastic splints have been used as effective tools for septal support, avoiding adhesion, and mucosal healing after septal surgery. Furthermore, although many surgeons insert septal splints, no well-designed trials exist to support their use. A randomized double-blinded controlled trial was performed.

Methods:

We recruited 40 subjects who had undergone septoplasty only without sinus surgery or turbinoplasty. A silastic septal splint was inserted in one side of the nasal cavity at the end of each septoplasty, with the other side serving as a control. The splint side and control side were randomly selected. Nasal discomfort score (10-point scale) and mucosal status (grades 1‐4) were surveyed in a blinded setting on postoperative days 7 and 14.

Results:

Forty of 83 subjects fulfilled the enrollment criteria. On the 7th postoperative day there was no significant difference in nasal discomfort between the splint and control sides (6.2 ± 1.28 and 5.7 ± 1.27, respectively; p = 0.116), but the mucosal status was better on the splint side than on the control side (1.5 ± 0.51 and 2.5 ± 0.85; p < 0.001). At 14 days postoperatively, the symptom score (2.7 ± 1.06 versus 3.8 ± 1.25; p < 0.001) and mucosal status (1.5 ± 0.55 versus 1.9 ± 0.68; p = 0.013) were significantly better on the splint side compared with the control side.

Conclusion:

Insertion of a silastic septal splint after septal surgery should be accepted as a routine procedure.
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Keywords: Adhesion; nasal septum; septoplasty; silicone; splints; surgery

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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