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Is postoperative nasal packing after septoplasty safe? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies

Volume: 59 - Issue: 4

First page: 340 - Last page: 351

C.K. Titirungruang - N. Charakorn - B. Chaitusaney - P. Hirunwiwatkul

Objectives: To systemically review and compare post-septoplasty complications between total nasal packing and other techniques.
Methodology: We searched electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library) and additional sources. The most recent search was on November 30th, 2020. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing adverse events after post-septoplasty nasal packing versus other techniques were included. The outcomes were adverse events, including respiratory distress, oxygen desaturation, pain severity, bleeding, hematoma, sleep disturbance, infection, crusting, epiphora, dysphagia, perforation, adhesion, and residual septal deviation.
Results: There were 47 studies (4,087 participants) in this systematic review. Nasal packing was more likely to cause adverse events than other techniques. There were significant increases in respiratory distress, pain, sleep disturbance, crusting, epiphora, dysphagia, and adhesion. There were no statistically significant differences in oxygen desaturation, bleeding, hematoma, infection, perforation, and residual septal deviation. Subgroup analysis found that trans-septal suture was less likely to cause post-operative complications compared with total nasal packing.
Conclusion: Nasal packing after septoplasty was more likely to cause adverse events, including respiratory distress, pain, sleep disturbance, crusting, epiphora, dysphagia, and adhesion. Furthermore, there were no benefits of nasal packing in preventing bleeding, hematoma, and residual septal deviation when compared with other techniques. Routine nasal packing after septoplasty should be avoided. Trans-septal suture should be considered instead.

Rhinology 59-4: 340-351, 2021

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