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Barbed pharyngoplasty aims to reduce lateral retropalatal obstruction by pulling up the soft palate anterolaterally. However, barbed pharyngoplasty can be less efficient in some cases of obstructive sleep apnoea, especially in the presence of an elongated uvula with redundant tissues over it. This paper describes an attempt to overcome this drawback by modifying barbed pharyngoplasty, using a single continuous suture technique.
Thirty-four patients were assigned to two groups based on the surgical procedure performed. Those with an elongated uvula were treated with modified barbed pharyngoplasty (n = 17); the others were treated with barbed pharyngoplasty (n = 17). Pre- and post-operative quality of life questionnaires, and questionnaires concerning diet, pain and return to activity, were completed. Pre- and post-operative polysomnography was performed as an objective measurement.
There was no significant difference between barbed pharyngoplasty and modified barbed pharyngoplasty in terms of outcomes. However, reductions in the apnoea/hypopnea index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and snoring visual analogue scale scores were greater in the modified barbed pharyngoplasty group.
Modified barbed pharyngoplasty is a safe and feasible method, and eliminates the need for surgical resection of the redundant soft tissues around the uvula while lifting up the uvula base.
We aimed to compare the efficacy of topical pimecrolimus versus hydrocortisone in treating external auditory canal pruritis, using the Modified Itch Severity Scale as an assessment tool.
We included in the study 40 patients with isolated itching of the external auditory canal who had not received any benefit from previous topical and systemic treatments. Topical 1 per cent pimecrolimus or topical hydrocortisone was applied to each patient's external auditory canal for three months. A Modified Itch Severity Scale was developed and used to assess treatment response.
Compared with itching scores on initial assessment, the scores of patients receiving topical pimecrolimus had decreased by 52.3 per cent by the third week of treatment and by 77.6 per cent by the third month, whereas the scores of patients receiving topical hydrocortisone had decreased by 34.4 per cent by the third week and by 64.2 per cent by the third month.
Topical pimecrolimus appears to be as effective as topical hydrocortisone in relieving external auditory canal pruritis. We used a novel scoring system, the Modified Itch Severity Scale, to evaluate external auditory canal pruritus; this is the first self-reporting questionnaire for the quantification of external auditory canal pruritus severity. Further studies are needed to validate this scoring system.
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