The impact of living with a functional and aesthetic nasal deformity after primary rhinoplasty: a utility outcomes score assessment

Hani Sinno, Ali Izadpanah, Stephanie Thibaudeau, Georges Christodoulou, Youssef Tahiri, Sumner A Slavin, Samuel J Lin
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2012, 69 (4): 431-4

BACKGROUND: Revision rhinoplasty for functional deformities can be both an aesthetic and reconstructive surgical challenge. We set out to quantify the health state utility assessment of living with the physical appearance of nasal asymmetry along with having nasal obstruction. The use of utility scores has helped to establish the health burden of living with various medical conditions. We sought to quantify living with a health state of nasal asymmetry with nasal obstruction after primary rhinoplasty using utility outcome scores.

METHODS: We used previously validated utility outcome measures to quantify the health burden of this clinical scenario in 128 prospective subjects. These subjects were from a sample of the population and medical students recruited to complete a survey to determine the utility outcome score of revision rhinoplasty using visual analog scale (VAS), time trade-off (TTO), and standard gamble (SG) tests to obtain utility scores for revision rhinoplasty. Linear regression and Student t test were used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: All measures (VAS, TTO, and SG) for functional nasal deformity (0.80±0.13, 0.90±0.12, and 0.91±0.13, respectively) of the 128 prospective subjects participating in this online study were significantly different (P<0.005) from the corresponding scores for monocular blindness (0.63±0.15, 0.85±0.16, and 0.85±0.19, respectively) and binocular blindness (0.38±0.18, 0.66±0.25, and 0.69±0.24, respectively). Being white was inversely related to the VAS utility scores for rhinoplasty (P<0.05). Additionally, female sex was positively correlated to the TTO score. Age, income, and education were not predictors of utility scores.

CONCLUSIONS: In a sample of the population and medical students, VAS, TTO, and SG utility scores for revision rhinoplasty were determined and can be compared objectively with other health states and diseases with known utility scores. In a preoperative setting, women were objectively willing to potentially "trade" more years of life to treat a functional nasal deformity. If faced with a deformed nose after primary rhinoplasty, our sample population would consent to undergo a revision rhinoplasty procedure with a theoretical 9% chance of mortality and were willing to trade 3.6 years of their remaining life.

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