“We look primarily at the endoscopic outcomes, not just quality of life,” Dr. Kennedy said, noting that persistent asymptomatic disease is common after ESS in smokers. “All patients feel better after ESS, so it probably doesn’t matter if all you’re looking for is symptom improvement in the short to medium-term follow-up period.”
Meanwhile, several studies have found that smokers do worse after ESS. For example, a study published in 2004 found that smoking was associated with statistically worse outcomes after ESS based on average SNOT-16 scores (Laryngoscope. 114(1):126-128). The smokers’ SNOT-16 scores averaged 27.5, versus 18.2 for the non-smokers. Passive smoke exposure in smokers increased the average SNOT-16 score to 30.6. The average SNOT-16 score in the ex-smoking nonsmokers was 22.1, and passive exposure in this group increased the average SNOT-16 score to 25.5.
A 2011 article in Rhinology (49(5):577-582) showed that smokers had worse post-operative outcomes than their nonsmoking counterparts, including nasal blockage, loss of smell, frontal headache, postnasal drip, muco-purulent rhinorrhea and watery rhinorrhea, over an observation period of two to nine years.