Packing in endoscopic sinus surgery: Is it really required?

Ron Eliashar*, Menachem Gross, Jay Wohlgelernter, Jean Yves Sichel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the routine use of packing or local hemostatic agents in endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). METHODS: Packing and/or hemostatic agents were used only when necessary in 100 consecutive adult ESS patients in a tertiary academic hospital. Necessity for packing the nose after excessive bleeding was analyzed in relation to demographic characteristics, medical history, previous surgeries, current surgical procedure, type of anesthesia, and amount of intraoperative bleeding. RESULTS: Three patients who required packing because of other reasons (such as bolstering of mucosa) were excluded from the study. The remaining 97 patients included 61 males and 36 females between the ages of 16 to 86 (mean 44). Forty-nine patients underwent only ESS, 40 ESSs associated with nasal polypectomy, and 8 underwent other endoscopic procedures. Fifty-four underwent the operation under general anesthesia and 43 under local anesthesia. Intraoperative blood loss was less than 30 mL in 82 patients (85%), 30 to 50 mL in 11 (11%), and more than 50 mL in 4 (4%). In 89 patients (92%), packing or a hemostatic agent was not used. No patient had bleeding complications postoperatively. A comparison between patients who required packing to those who did not showed that the only statistically significant associations related to general anesthesia (P = 0.0082) and to the amount of intraoperative bleeding (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Most ESS procedures can be managed without packing or any other hemostatic measures. Local anesthesia, use of local vasoconstrictors, and careful operative technique minimize the need for nose packing, thus reducing patient's discomfort, postoperative complications, and cost of surgery. EBM rating: C-4

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)276-279
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


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