Anosmia has surgical treatment

Anosmia is the loss of smell, ie loss of the ability to smell. It can be a problem in itself or a symptom of another health complication, may be short-lived or permanent, and may also be partial or complete, although the latter is rarer.

Anosmia affects 19% of the general population and can be caused by temporary or permanent irritation and destruction of the mucous membranes lining the interior of the nose. It can occur due to acute sinusitis, common cold, flu and allergic or non-allergic rhinitis. It can also be caused by some physical material blocking airflow through the nose such as bone deformities, nasal polyps and tumors.

There are some factors that may contribute to the onset of the problem, such as old age, aneurysm or brain tumor, chemical exposures to certain insecticides or solvents, diabetes, radiation, rhinoplasty, or traumatic brain injury. Smoking for adults over 60, and advanced age, increase the chances of developing anosmia.

Diagnosis is made by examination of odor sensitivity, brain resonance, skull x-ray, nasal and blood endoscopy to assess the possible causes of the problem.

Anosmia Treatment

The treatment of anosmia depends on its cause. If the problem occurs from a cold, flu, allergy or sinus, it usually heals on its own within a few days. However, in more severe cases, a surgical intervention is recommended.

The treatment offered at our clinic consists of neurotization of the nasal mucosa. Deaf nerve grafts, taken from the legs, are placed inside the nose, below the nasal mucosa, and connected to the side of the supraorbital nerve. After a few months, due to brain neuroplasticity, the new connection is recognized and the sense of smell is gradually recovered. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and lasts approximately 3 hours.

More details in the article published in the European Journal of Plastic Surgery, December 2018.