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Research Papers

Design of a Nasal Septum Measurement Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Valmiki K. Sooklal

e-mail: vsooklal@eas.uccs.edu

Luke Hooper

e-mail: luke.hooper@gmail.com

Michael C. Larson

e-mail: mlarson@uccs.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs,
1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy,
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Manuscript received June 4, 2010; final manuscript received May 11, 2011; published online September 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Just L. Herder.

J. Med. Devices 7(4), 041001 (Sep 24, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-10-1057; doi: 10.1115/1.4025095 History: Received June 04, 2010; Revised May 11, 2011

Nasal septal deviation occurs in approximately 20% of the population (Blaugrand, S., 1989, “The Nasal Septum and Concha Bullosa,” Otolaryngol. Clin. North Am., 22, pp. 291–306). Depending on the severity of the deviation, the natural flow of air through the nasal passages can be obstructed, possibly leading to more advanced complications such as epistaxis, rhinorrhoea, postnasal drip, recurrent sinus pain, chronic nasal obstruction, obstructive sleep apnea, and increased risk of viral or bacterial infections. Numerous measurement techniques exist to assess nasal patency and identify any nasal occlusion including deviated septums such as Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. However, there is no cost effective, user friendly method that attempts to measure the thickness of the septum. The design, fabrication, and operation of an easy-to-use and inexpensive device, which can be used quickly to measure nasal septal thickness post surgery and in follow up appointments is described. The device enables physicians to efficiently build a database of measures that can yield a new understanding of surgery effects. Measurements obtained using the new device are presented for five patients undergoing septoplasty surgery. It proved to be a fast and economical way to determine septal thickness. Initial results taken in pre, intra, and post surgery yielded results confirming the efficacy of the device as an efficient evaluation tool capable of giving instantaneous results of nasal septum geometry. The device achieves its intended function while keeping the product cost low. Early results also showed the efficacy in obtaining data on septoplasty surgery efficacy and septal swelling as a result of external factors such as histamines.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Stainless steel caliper probes created for device

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Fig. 2

Device circuit schematic

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Fig. 3

CAD model of device

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Fig. 4

Photograph of assembled device

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Fig. 5

Screenshot of user interface

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Fig. 6

Lever to separate calipers at nasal columella

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Fig. 7

Comparison of measurements to wedge and stair-step gauge

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Fig. 8

Initial trial using nasal caliper

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Fig. 9

Change in septal thickness for three patients pre and postoperatively

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Fig. 10

24 h swelling for two patients

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