Anterior nasal packing is carried out in a number of nasal surgeries, especially in septoplasty. However, it is not an innocuous procedure and for this its benefit has been challenged. OBJECTIVE: To assess the need for anterior nasal packing and the quality of life of patients submitted to septoplasty. METHOD: Patients submitted to septoplasty with or without inferior turbinoplasty were randomized to receive or not anterior nasal packing postoperatively. We recorded and compared postoperative data (pain and bleeding). Quality of life was assessed before and after surgery. This is a randomized prospective study. RESULTS: We had 73 patients (37 packed and 36 who did not receive a nasal packing) with a minimum follow-up of 3 months. Patients with nasal packing complained more of nasal pain and headache in the immediate postoperative period. Of these patients, 75.7% reported moderate/intense pain upon nasal packing removal. Bleeding was more frequent in those patients who did not receive a nasal packing, and only 1 patient required packing. All the patients enjoyed an improvement in quality of life. CONCLUSION: Septoplasty improves the quality of life of patients with septal deviation and nasal obstruction. Routine use of anterior nasal packing should be challenged for not presenting proven benefit.
internal nasal packing; nasal septum; quality of life