Effect of infiltrating nasal packing with local anesthetics in postoperative pain and anxiety following sinonasal surgeries: a systemic review and meta-analysis

  • Ming-Tang Lai (Contributor)
  • Chia-Che Wu (Contributor)
  • Shao Chen Tsai (Contributor)
  • Yi Lin Kao (Creator)



Abstract Introduction: Packing of the nasal cavity has traditionally been used for postoperative bleeding control and decreasing synechia formation in patients undergoing nasal surgeries. Although absorbable nasal packing has been gaining popularity in the recent years, nonabsorbable nasal packing is still often used in nasal surgeries in various parts of the world. It is known to be associated with pain and discomfort especially upon and during removal, and previous reviews have only evaluated the effects of local anesthetic infiltration of nasal packing in septal surgeries. Objective: To evaluate the effect of infiltrating nasal packing with local anesthetics in postoperative pain and anxiety following sinonasal surgeries Materials and methods: We searched the PubMed and Embase databases from their earliest record to April 27, 2019, randomized controlled trials and prospective controlled trials for review, and included only randomized controlled trials for data analysis. We included studies using topical anesthetics-infiltrated nasal packing following sinonasal surgeries and evaluated the effectiveness compared to placebo packing in pain reduction during postoperative follow up, as well as the effectiveness in anxiety reduction. Results: Among 15 studies included for review, 9 studies involving 765 participants contributed to the meta-analysis. In terms of pain reduction, our analysis showed significant standard mean differences regarding effectiveness at postoperative 1, 12, 24 h interval for all surgical groups combined, in the sinus surgery group, as well as during nasal packing removal. There was no consistent evidence to support the effectiveness in anxiety reduction. Conclusions: Our study supports anesthetics infiltration of nasal packing as an effective method in managing pain in patients with nasal packing after sinonasal surgeries. However, the level of evidence is low. More high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to establish its effectiveness in reducing anxiety. We believe this review is of great clinical significance due to the vast patient population undergoing sinonasal surgeries. Postoperative local hemorrhage remains the greatest concern for ear nose and throat surgeons due to the rich vasculature of the nose and sinuses. Sinonasal packing provides structural support and serves as an important measure for hemostasis and synechia formation. Although absorbable packing has been gaining popularity in the recent years, nonabsorable packing materials are still used in many countries due to lower cost. Infiltration of nasal packing with local anesthetic provides a solution to the discomfort, nasal pressure and nasal pain experienced commonly by the patients as evidenced by our analysis.
Date made available2021
PublisherSciELO journals

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