Sinonasal Headaches and Post-Operative Outcomes after Septoplasty in Patients with Nasal Septal Deviation

Document Type : Original


1 Department of otorhinolaryngology, Ahwaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahwaz, Iran

2 General Physician


Investigators believe that anatomical abnormalities in the sinonasal region can be the cause of some chronic and refractory headaches that may respond well to surgical intervention. This study presents the prevalence of headache in patients with nasal septal deviation and their response to surgical treatment over a 2-year follow-up period.
Materials and Methods:
This descriptive and prospective study was conducted on 98 patients with nasal septal deviation who underwent septoplasty surgery in the Imam Hospital in Ahwaz. Preoperative information was acquired by asking the patients and by completing SNOT-20 questionnaires by patients. After the surgery, information about changes in the quality of headache in patients with dominant contact points in preoperative nasal endoscopy whose headache responded to topical anaesthesia with lidocaine 2%+naphazoline 0.5% was collected over a 2-year follow-up. Final data were analyzed by SPSS and descriptive statistics.
Ninety-eight patients were studied, comprising 58.2% men and 41.8% women. They ranged in age between 18 and 46 years (mean=24). Nasal obstruction (72.4%), snoring (58.1%), headache (46%) and epistaxis (17.3%) were the most frequent preoperative symptoms. The most common site of the headache was the frontal region (68.8%).  Patients' headache was bilateral in 71.1% of cases. In 82.2% of patients, headache lasted less than four hours a day. The headache was pulsatile in 53.3%, sharp in 31.2% and compressive in 15.5% of cases. In the post-operative assessment, despite gradual decline in the referral patients for follow-up, a notable and gradual recovery in patients’ headache was seen with 82.8% of the patients reporting complete or partial recovery of the headache at the end of the 2-year follow-up.
Headache is one of the most common symptoms in patients with nasal anatomical abnormalities such as septal deviation and usually responds well to surgical treatment. More studies with long-term follow-ups seems to be inevitable to determine the relationship between headaches and nasal anatomical abnormalities, accurate surgical results in patients’ recovery and the recurrence rate of headaches.