Author(s): Frosh AC, Jayaraj S, Porter G, Almeyda J
Although the application of a topical local anaesthetic before fibreoptic nasendoscopy is routine practice in many otolaryngological outpatients, the actual benefit to the patient of this procedure remains in doubt. Eighty-two patients were recruited in this double-blind randomized control trial which compared the patients' experiences of fibreoptic nasendoscopy with nasal preparations of Xylocaine (lidocaine), normal saline, and no spray to the nose and throat. A visual analogue scoring system was used to determine scores for the overall unpleasantness of procedure, receiving a spray, and taste of the spray, and pain. This study has shown significantly worse overall experience (P = 0.001) and pain (P = 0.048) scores for Xylocaine spray versus no spray. It is concluded that the routine use of topical local anaesthetics within the nose before routine fibreoptic nasendoscopy is not only of no value, but actually makes the experience worse for the patient.