Background: Septal surgery (SP) is one of the most frequently performed operations in Germany and thus represents a high cost burden for the health system. However, sufficient data on postoperative patient satisfaction and objective indication criteria for surgery are still lacking.
Objective: This study aimed to determine postoperative patient satisfaction and possible factors influencing the subjective success of SP, in order to optimize preoperative indication establishment.
Materials and methods: A total of 600 questionnaires were sent by mail, resulting in inclusion of 238 patients (60 female, 178 male) who had received SP. The questionnaires were retrospectively evaluated using validated questionnaires (NOSE-D, SNOT-20-GAV) as well as a self-designed questionnaire regarding patients' subjective satisfaction after SP. Clinical data were collected from the electronic patient record.
Results: Follow-up was between 2 and 11 years. The main symptom for SP was difficult nasal breathing in 89% (212 of 238) of patients. In total, 68% (161) were satisfied with the outcome of surgery and 73% (172) of the patients would opt for SP again. The scores of the visual analog scales for nasal breathing, smell, nasal secretion, physical performance, use of nose drops, and headache were statistically significantly improved postoperatively. Additionally, the analysis of Nose-D and SNOT-20-GAV questionnaires presented a significant improvement in scores. Surprisingly, patients with a prolonged duration of septal splints were more satisfied. Previous nasal surgery had no significant influence.
Conclusion: SP leads to a high degree of patient satisfaction, if the indication for surgery is correct. The main complaint of patients should be "difficult" nasal breathing. SP leads to a significant improvement in preoperative symptoms.
Keywords: Patient satisfaction; Quality of life; Questionaire; Rhinosurgery; Septal surgery.