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Value of Opening the Middle Meatus in Patients With Nasal Airway Obstruction.

OBJECTIVES: While surgeries to correct the anatomical malformations that cause nasal airway obstruction (NAO) are generally successful, the outcomes of such procedures are often unsatisfactory. The aim of the present study was to assess the value of opening the middle meatus in patients with NAO.

METHODS: Thirty-four patients with nasal obstruction due to nasal septal deviation were included in this study. After randomization, the middle meatus was either opened or not opened during septoplasty. The patients were evaluated through pre- and postoperative rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores of subjective symptoms along with responses to the 20-item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-20) were obtained before surgery and three months after surgery.

RESULTS: The VAS scores and SNOT-20 responses improved significantly in both groups after surgery. The effective treatment rate based on the nasal congestion score (NCS) was 64.7% in the single group (septoplasty alone) and 100% in the combined group (septoplasty in conjunction with opening the middle meatus), and the difference was statistically significant ( P = .018). In both groups, surgery significantly improved nasal flow, resistance, minimal cross-sectional area, cross-sectional area 6 cm (CA6) from the anterior nostril and nasal volume. Nasal volume and CA6 after surgery were statistically different between the 2 groups ( P = .004 and .019, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Opening the middle meatus may further improve the subjective perception of patency on the basis of septoplasty.

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