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Empty Nose Syndrome Treatable With Surgery

Implanted acellular dermis simulates missing tissue

MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A case study of eight patients with empty nose syndrome shows that after careful assessment, surgery can be effective, according to a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery.

Steven M. Houser, M.D., of MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, evaluated eight patients with empty nose syndrome, a condition whereby patients have a sense of poor nasal breathing, despite the fact that they have a patent airway. Diagnosis of empty nose syndrome was made on the basis of symptoms as well as prior nasal turbinate surgery.

After the patients were submucosally implanted with acellular dermis to simulate missing turbinate tissue, they scored statistically significant improvements of symptoms according to the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test.

"Satisfying nasal breathing resides in a narrow defile between obstruction and inadequate nasal resistance," the author wrote. "In the quest to remove obstruction, patients may undergo too aggressive turbinate surgery and experience empty nose syndrome as a result. Submucosal acellular dermis implantation may be beneficial in patients who experience empty nose syndrome," Houser concluded.

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