Background: Nasal surgery is commonly involved in surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The aim of this study was to investigate the outcomes of nasal surgery for OSA using evidence-based methodology.
Methods: The MedLine database (1999∼2009) was searched for original articles published in peer-reviewed journals concerning nasal surgery for snoring/sleep apnea. Data extracted from these articles were reviewed and analyzed using meta-analysis technology.
Results: Thirteen articles were critically appraised. Two studies provided control groups and 11 articles (84.6%) consisted of prospective noncontrolled clinical trials (level II in evidence strength). The weighted mean apnea/hypopnea index measured by polysomnography in nine studies decreased from 35.2 ± 22.6 to 33.5 ± 23.8 event/hour after nasal surgery (overall, p = 0.69). The pooled success rate of nasal surgery in treating OSA was 16.7%. Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores in eight studies decreased from 10.6 ± 3.9 to 7.1 ± 3.7 (overall, p <0.001). Nasal surgery for snoring assessed by individual questionnaires and visual analog scale reported significant improvement (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The critical literature appraisal and meta-analyses show that nasal surgery can effectively reduce daytime sleepiness and snoring. However, the efficacy of nasal surgery in treating OSA is limited.