To conduct the first prospective randomized controlled trial, evaluating and comparing the effect of medical and surgical treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) on quality of life.
Ninety patients with CRS, who remained symptomatic after initial medical treatment with Dexarhinaspray duo and nasal douche, were randomized either to medical or surgical therapy. All patients underwent pre- and post-treatment assessments of the Sinonasal Outcome Test-20 (SNOT-20), and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). Each patient had three assessments: before starting the randomized treatment, after six months and finally after one year.
Both the medical and surgical treatment of CRS significantly improved almost all the parameters of SNOT and SF-36 (p<0.05), with no significant difference being found between the medical and surgical groups (p>0.05).
Both maximal medical and surgical therapy of CRS improves the quality of life of CRS patients, providing further evidence that chronic rhinosinusitis should be targeted with maximal medical therapy in the first instance, with surgical treatment being reserved for cases refractory to medical therapy. The presence of nasal polyps does not imply any negative effect on the quality of life after CRS therapy, either medical or surgical.