Answer: When researchers at CESH looked at the relevant articles, the research showed no difference between the outcomes for patients whose RAS was treated using medications alone versus those who underwent PTRAS as well.
But this finding came with a lot of caveats. Some of the existing research had major problems such as relatively small sample sizes or participants who didn’t match the type of RAS patients doctors are likely to see in their offices. In particular, there were very few studies that examined which types of patients could most benefit from PTRAS. In short, the body of evidence just wasn’t sufficient enough to draw any generalizable conclusions. So, the main findings from this systematic review were:
1. There’s a need for more research on this topic
2. In the case of patients with less severe RAS, the current evidence does not support the clinical preference for using PTRAS and medication instead of just medication.
3. However, there are some case studies of individual patients with severe RAS symptoms who saw clinical improvement after PTRAS.
Now that you’ve seen systematic reviews in action, you might want to use this rigorous form of evidence synthesis to answer your own questions. A systematic review might be the right tool for you. But first, let’s be clear about what systematic reviews can’t do.