European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 270, Issue 1, pp 107–111 | Cite as

Olfactory function following nasal surgery: a 1-year follow-up

  • V. A. Schriever
  • N. Gupta
  • J. Pade
  • M. Szewczynska
  • T. Hummel


Olfactory dysfunction is a frequent symptom of nasal and sinunasal disease. Many of these patients undergo nasal sinus or nasal septum surgery. In this study, we evaluated the benefit of nasal surgery on olfactory function over a period of 12 months. Patients included in this study underwent either nasal sinus or nasal septum surgery. All patients were tested for olfactory function using the “Sniffin’ sticks” 16 item odor identification test. In addition, patients were asked to rate their nasal patency as well as their olfactory function at each visit. 157 patients were tested 3.5 months after surgery and 52 patients were tested again 12 months after surgery. Olfactory function improved significantly 3.5 months after surgery in patients, who received nasal sinus surgery; no significant increase was found in patients treated with nasal septum surgery. At the 12-month follow-up, the increase in olfactory function over all patients just missed statistical significance. Individually, however, 19% of the patients exhibited improvement after 3.5 months and 17% after 12 months. These numbers increased in patients with rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, who exhibited improvement of 30% after 3.5 months, and 32% after 12 months. Nasal sinus surgery produced an increase in measured olfactory function, but not nasal septum surgery. This increase appeared to be stable over the examined period of 12 months.


Olfaction Smell Surgery Outcome 


Conflict of interest

None of the authors declares a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. A. Schriever
    • 1
  • N. Gupta
    • 1
  • J. Pade
    • 2
  • M. Szewczynska
    • 2
  • T. Hummel
    • 1
  1. 1.Smell and Taste Clinic, Department of OtorhinolaryngologyUniversity of Dresden Medical SchoolDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologySt.-Johannes HospitalDortmundGermany

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