Effects of septorhinoplasty on smell perception



To assess whether significant changes in smell perception occur after septorhinoplasty, and evaluate whether septum deviation, allergic rhinitis, and surgical technique affect postoperative smell perception.


Thirty-four patients (> 18 years old) awaiting septorhinoplasty were included, while those with previous severe hyposmia or anosmia were excluded. The participants self-assessed their smell perception using a 100-mm visual analogue scale (VAS), where 0 mm indicated the inability to smell and 100 mm indicated normal smell perception. The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) was applied before the procedure, and 4 and 12 weeks after surgery.


The UPSIT score showed no significant changes at 4 (p = 0.59; 95% CI − 0.35 to + 2) or 12 weeks (p = 0.16; 95% CI − 1.13 to + 0.66). A comparison of the VAS scores before and 4 weeks after surgery (p = 0.62; 95% CI − 0.63 to + 0.39) yielded similar results. However, the average VAS scores improved 12 weeks after surgery (p = 0.007; 95% CI + 0.22 to + 1.30). Olfactory function, measured using the UPSIT, was not influenced by open or closed surgical techniques (p ≥ 0.10), the presence or absence of rhinitis (p ≥ 0.15), or obstructive septum deviation (p ≥ 0.38). Twelve weeks after surgery, self-evaluated smell perception was better in patients who underwent a closed procedure rather than an open procedure (p = 0.006; 95% CI: −1.39 to −0.37).


A validated test demonstrates that septorhinoplasty does not compromise smell perception 4 and 12 weeks after surgery. However, it might improve smell perception by the self-report observation.

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Correspondence to Luciana Carolina Peruzzo Kokubo.

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A prospective observational study was made involving humans. The study was reviewed and approved by the local research ethics committee.

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Kokubo, L.C.P., Carvalho, T.B.O., Fornazieri, M.A. et al. Effects of septorhinoplasty on smell perception. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 276, 1247–1250 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-019-05356-1

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  • Septorhinoplasty
  • Smell perception
  • Olfaction
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Septal deviation
  • Septoplasty
  • VAS