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Psychosocial consequences of nasal aesthetic and functional surgery: a controlled prospective study in an ENT setting

Volume: 36 - Issue: 1

First page: 32 - Last page: 36

Borges. P. Dinis - M. Dinis - A. Gomes

Much still needs to be known about what motivates and goes through patients\' minds when undergoing nasal aesthetic surgery. Little is also known on how the aesthetic change affects the way other people see those patients after surgery, and if the improved appearance significantly benefits the patients\' psychosocial functioning. So far, research has largely focused on subjects in Plastic Surgery settings, neglecting to investigate the specificities of rhinoplasty as performed by otolaryngologists. In order to elucidate these, a prospective controlled-study design was developed. Twenty-five consecutive patients, selected from an ENT practice for septorhinoplasty, were enrolled. They were submitted to pre-operative psychiatric interviews and psychological tests. Two control groups were simultaneously enlisted, and were submitted also to the same tests. Four to seven months after surgery, the septorhinoplasty patients were again evaluated by psychiatric interviews and psychological tests as well as asked to fill out a questionnaire addressing subjective satisfaction with the surgical results. They also underwent, at that time, a rhinomanometric examination assessing the objective success of surgery on nasal function. It was concluded that the study population was basically a psychologically well balanced group of patients, and that a successful surgical result could indeed, in some, improve pre-operative psychological \"suffering\" related to the nasal deformity, and give these patients a new social identity. Ultimately, it was found that the meeting of aesthetic requirements, frequently not put forward by the patient preoperatively, was the single most important factor required for a final complete satisfaction with the overall surgical results in this population.

Rhinology 36-1: 32-36, 1998

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