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Restorative procedures in disturbed function of the upper airways - nasal breathing

Author(s): Mlynski, Gunter

Journal: GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN 1865-1011

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc07;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: functional/aesthetic rhinosurgery | nasal respiratory function | airflow | rhinological functional diagnosis

These days, functional rhinosurgery is almost always taken to mean the improvement of nasal airflow. However, air should not only pass through the nose without obstruction. It needs to be warmed, moistened and filtered. This requires sufficient air/mucous membrane contact by spreading airflow over the entire turbinate region, as well as regulation of nasal airway resistance and the degree of turbulence within the nasal cycle. These factors are not considered enough in the concept of functional rhinosurgery. There cannot be a rigid concept for functional/aesthetic rhinosurgery, the surgical procedure must be adapted to the individual anatomy and pathology. In spite of this, it must be clear (based on evidence) which surgical steps can solve a functional problem of the nose in the long term. This paper cannot explain evidence-based treatment strategies to restore nasal respiratory function because in all branches of rhinosurgery, there are no prospective studies available with a sufficiently high sample size and long-term results objectivized by functional diagnosis.Studies available on septal surgery show better results for SP after Cottle than for SMR after Killian. However, the success rate of a 70 to 80% improvement in nasal breathing is not satisfactory. The incidence of postoperative, dry nasal mucosa is also too high. The task of rhinology is to stress the functional side of rhinosurgery more. This includes preoperative analysis of the causes of disturbed respiratory function using the functional diagnosis methods available, the use of evidence-based surgical techniques and postoperative, objectivized quality control. More research needs to be done on the physiology and pathophysiology of nasal airflow as well as on the effect of rhinosurgery on airflow. Numerical flow simulation can contribute greatly to this because the effects of shape changes on the flow can be visualized. Methods need to be developed which can be used for routine, diagnostic recording of warming, moistening and filtering of the respiratory air.
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