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Empty Nose Syndrome as an Iatrogenic Condition from Surgery


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to summarize the current literature regarding empty nose syndrome (ENS). This review explores the significance and role that surgery plays in the development of ENS.

Recent Findings

ENS may occur as consequence of nasal airflow aerodynamic alterations and sensorineural dysfunction. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) investigations in ENS patients suggest a laminar jet of airflow tunnels towards the middle meatus at the expense of the inferior and superior nasal cavity. Thermoreceptor function responsible for the sensation of nasal patency is concurrently affected. Inferior meatal augmentation procedures (IMAP) can restore pre-operative nasal airflow pathways and alleviate symptoms of ENS.


ENS is a rare debilitating condition post turbinate surgery. CFD has provided new insights into the pathogenesis of this condition and justification of surgical strategies to achieve symptom relief. The inconsistent nature in which ENS manifests among patients nonetheless requires further investigation with goals to identify the at-risk patient population pre-operatively.

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Fig. 1


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been: •  Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Andrew V. Thamboo.

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Dakshika A. Gunaratne has no disclosures. Andrew V. Thamboo reports personal fees from Sanofi Speaker, GSK Speaker, and Stryker Speaker, outside the submitted work.

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Gunaratne, D.A., Thamboo, A.V. Empty Nose Syndrome as an Iatrogenic Condition from Surgery. Curr Otorhinolaryngol Rep (2023).

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