Outcomes after middle turbinate resection: Revisiting a controversial topic

Zachary M. Soler, Peter H. Hwang, Jess Mace, Timothy L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate differences in endoscopy exam, olfactory function, and quality-of-life (QOL) status after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) for patients with and without bilateral middle turbinate (BMT) resection. Study Design: Open, prospective, multi-institutional cohort. Methods: Subjects completing enrollment interviews, computed tomography (CT), and endoscopy exam were asked to provide pre- and postoperative responses to the Smell Identification Test (SIT), Rhinosinusitis Disability Index (RSDI), Chronic Sinusitis Survey (CSS), and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed at the .05 alpha level. Results: Forty-seven subjects with BMT resection were compared to 195 subjects without BMT resection with a mean follow-up of 17.4 months postoperatively. Patients with BMT resection were more likely to have asthma (P = .001), aspirin intolerance (P = .022), nasal polyposis (P = .025), and prior sinus surgery (P = .002). Patients with BMT resection had significantly higher baseline disease burden measured by endoscopy, CT, and SIT scores (P < .001). No significant differences in improvement were found in RSDI, CSS, or SF-36 scores between patients with BMT resection and those with BMT preservation (P > .05). Patients undergoing BMT resection were more likely to show improvements in mean endoscopy (-4.5 ± 5.2 vs. -1.9 ± 4.3; P = .005) and olfaction (5.3 ± 10.8 vs. 1.3 ± 7.6, P = .045) compared to those with BMT preservation. Conclusions: This investigation found no difference in QOL outcomes in patients with BMT preservation vs. resection. Patients undergoing BMT resection did, however, show greater improvements in endoscopy and SIT scores, which persisted after controlling for confounding factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-837
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • Endoscopic
  • Middle turbinate
  • Quality of life
  • Resection
  • Sinusitis
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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