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Keywords:

  • nasal septal surgery;
  • splints;
  • adhesions;
  • post-operative complications;
  • post-operative pain

Intranasal splints have been used to maintain septal stability and prevent intranasal adhesions following septal surgery. However, their efficacy and attendant morbidity have received surprisingly little attention.

Our prospective study of 100 adults was divided into patients undergoing septoplasty or submucous resection of the nasal septum alone (n= 50) and those undergoing combined septal and inferior turbinate surgery (n= 50). All patients were randomized to have paired silicon rubber splints inserted for 7 days or not at all. All noses were additionally packed with 2 pieces of Jelonet for 12–20h and examined and cleaned at 1 and 6 weeks post-operatively. The position of the septum, patency of the airways, presence of adhesions and degree of discomfort were recorded.

Statistical analysis of the 89 complete sets of results obtained indicated splints added significantly to post-operative discomfort in both groups, with no demonstrable benefit to the patient.