Autologous fat injection for empty-nose syndrome

Eur Ann Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Dis. 2023 Nov 2:S1879-7296(23)00138-2. doi: 10.1016/j.anorl.2023.10.017. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Inferior meatus augmentation by injection or implants is one of the treatments for empty-nose syndrome (ENS), but levels of evidence of efficacy are low. We present the technique and evaluate our experience. The primary objective was to analyze changes in Empty Nose Syndrome 6-item Questionnaire (ENS6Q) scores after treating patients with ENS by autologous fat injection. Secondary objectives were the analysis of the evolution of each of the six ENS6Q items and identification of complications. Eleven patients underwent a minimally invasive approach to limit nasal airflow using fat injection between March 2021 and December 2022.

Results: Ten of the 11 patients showed a decrease in overall ENS6Q score (P=0.0058); 6 had a final ENS6Q score<11. Ten were satisfied with the procedure, but remained symptomatic. The procedure did not result in any complications.

Conclusion: These encouraging results confirm the data in the literature suggesting that fat injection improves symptomatology in empty nose syndrome. However, like other minimally invasive approaches to limit nasal airflow, it does not eliminate all symptoms. These results need to be confirmed by studies on larger cohorts with longer follow-up, preferably in a multicenter setting.

Keywords: Empty nose syndrome; Fat injection.