Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery of Nasal Polyposis: The Vexing Question of Whether to Resect or Preserve Middle Turbinate


Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is the mainstay of surgical management of nasal polyposis since 1975. The decision between the partial resection and preservation of the middle turbinate (MT) has stirred up considerable debate. Partial MTR permits easy access to the affected paranasal sinuses intraoperatively and postoperatively. However, there may be alteration of nasal function, frontal sinusitis and anosmia. Preservation of middle turbinate is precludes these complications, and allows the MT to serve as a vital anatomical landmark for revision surgery. Therefore, our study compared the outcomes of the two approaches to aid surgeons in deciding the best possible approach. Randomized control trial. 31 patients (60 sides of nasal cavity) with nasal polyposis were divided into two groups. Group I consisted of 30 sides of nasal cavity with middle turbinate resection, while group II consisted of 30 sides of nasal cavity without middle turbinate resection. Both the groups were compared postoperatively for 6 months. In group I and group II, 5 sides (16.6%) and 11 sides (36.6%) showed polypoidal changes respectively. 3 sides (10%) in group I and 8 sides (26.6%) in group II showed blockage of maxillary sinus ostia. All the sides in group I had patency of frontal sinus. In group II, 5 sides (16.6%) showed blockage of frontal sinus ostia. The maxillary antrostomy patency in group I and group II were 90% (27) and 73.33% (22) respectively. Assessment of symptomatic improvements for nasal obstruction, hyposmia, headache and rhinorrhoea was done using questionnaires. Symptomatic improvement was higher in group I compared to group II with statistical significance (p = 0.001). Our study demonstrated that partial resection of middle turbinate decreased the chances of recurrence of disease and post-operative complications and resulted in significantly better symptomatic improvements.

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Correspondence to Manaswita Roy.

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All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Roy, M., Lade, H. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery of Nasal Polyposis: The Vexing Question of Whether to Resect or Preserve Middle Turbinate. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 71, 2025–2030 (2019).

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  • Nasal polyposis
  • Middle turbinate
  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery