Background and Objective: This study aimed to compare the relative efficacy of saline nasal douches versus topical nasal decongestant in post-operative septal surgery and to assess the feasibility and likely utility in post-operative septal surgery.
Material and Methods: The study was a hospital-based prospective double-blind randomized controlled study. Over a period of 18 months, 120 patients following septal surgery were assigned to one of two groups-Group I: Saline nasal douching and Group II: Decongestant nasal drops (xylometazoline 0.1 %). The outcome measures recorded on the 5th and 10th postoperative days are nasal congestion, anosmia, facial pain, itching, crusts, edema, scarring and nasal discharge. On the 14th postoperative day, the patients underwent diagnostic nasal endoscopic examination by the operating surgeon and the findings were recorded on the proforma.
Results: On the 5th postoperative day, group I patients were found to be symptomatically better than group II and this trend continued upto the 10th postoperative day, with group I patients reporting better symptomatic outcomes. Examination of the nasal cavities showed statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of crusts, edema and scarring.
Conclusion: Saline nasal douching appears to provide better alleviation of post-septal surgery symptoms (anosmia, facial pain and itching) than nasal decongestants as experienced by the patient in terms of VAS scores. There was no difference in alleviating nasal decongestion between the 2 groups.