Septoplasties and septorhinoplasties are very commonly performed surgical procedures in modern aesthetic and functional medicine. Throughout the surgery, close manipulation to the incisive nerves’ course is being executed. This retrospective analysis followed up on potential sensitivity disorders of the anterior palate due to nerve damage.
This retrospective review of 2000 patients’ charts, who had undergone the procedure of a septoplasty or septorhinoplasty between June 2013 and January 2019 was conducted at the Department of General Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Graz. Medical records of all included patients were reviewed with special attention to postoperative numbness of the anterior palate.
Among the 2000 included patients, a septoplasty was performed in 48% (n = 955), a septorhinoplasty in 35% (n = 703) and a septoplasty in combination with a functional endoscopic sinus surgery in 17% (n = 342). In total, 86% (n = 1721) showed no complications at all during the follow-up period. In 0.25% (n = 5) a sensitivity disorder of the anterior palate occurred. Of the five cases with a postoperative numbness of the anterior palate four occurred after a septoplasty and the fifth occurred following a septorhinoplasty.
At this current time, this is the largest study investigating postoperative numbness of the anterior palate retracing septoplasty or septorhinoplasty. As a result, the currently used techniques for the operations do not pose a risk for the incisive nerve despite close surgical manipulation to the nerves’ course. Nevertheless, patients should be informed and educated about the possibility of an occurring sensitivity disorder regarding the anterior palate during informed consent.