Purpose of review: Nasal dressings are commonly used following endoscopic sinus surgery in an attempt to prevent ongoing bleeding and to modulate the wound healing process. Experience with nasal dressings in the otolaryngologic literature spans more than half a century; however, despite this, there is still little agreement between surgeons on the optimal choice of nasal dressings following endoscopic sinus surgery, or whether nasal dressings are required at all. This paper briefly reviews the past research and examines recent advances in the area of nasal dressings.
Recent findings: The ideal nasal dressing is one that is absorbable, hemostatic and improves healing. Although a number of currently available materials may address one of these features, none address all. Currently available dressings that achieve hemostasis worsen wound healing outcomes. However, recent research shows promise with microporous polysaccharide hemospheres and chitosan gel having promising effects on hemostasis, and chitosan gel showing a significant adhesion prevention effect.
Summary: The sinus surgeon must be aware of the potential advantages and limitations of currently available nasal dressings. The area of wound healing and adhesion prevention remains an area of active research and more prospective controlled trials are needed to define any benefits biomaterials may have.