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Understanding Nasal Valve Collapse Repair
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Dr. Mobley is America's most trusted authority on Nasal Valve Collapse Repair.
Learn more about Nasal Valve Collapse, and how Dr. Mobley can treat this condition surgically to help restore your breathing, appearance, and overall quality of life.
Nasal Valve Collapse Repair
Nasal valve collapse is a fairly common, but sometimes overlooked cause for poor nasal breathing. Dr. Mobley has spent over 2 decades working to optimize his technique for the surgical correction of nasal valve collapse. His techniques have appeared in numerous medical articles and book chapters. While it sounds cliché, Dr. Mobley has literally written the book on nasal valve surgery.
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Nasal Valve Collapse Definition
The internal nasal valve is narrowest part of the entire upper airway (from the nostrils all the way down to the trachea or windpipe). It is located in the nasal middle third where the upper lateral cartilage attaches to the septum. If you were to grab the middle of your nose with your thumb and index finger and wiggle it back and forth you will basically be holding the “internal nasal valve” between your thumb and index finger.
In some people the upper lateral cartilage is relatively weak and ends up becoming narrowed or pinched in this area. As a result, the airflow through the internal nasal valve inside the nose is restricted.Internally, the effect on the internal nasal valve can be seen in this schematic simulation of right internal nasal valve narrowing:
Sometimes this narrowing of the internal nasal valve can only be diagnosed with a detailed nasal exam while in other patients there is a more visible “indentation” in the middle third of the nose- directly correlating to the area of the internal nasal valve.
Nasal Valve Collapse Symptoms:
Most patients with internal valve collapse describe their nose is just constantly not moving air optimally. Athletes can be particularly bothered by internal valve collapse, as they can perceive their nasal passages collapsing under the stresses of vigorous nasal respiration. Many, but not all, patients with internal nasal valve collapse will notice their breathing improve with the use of over the counter “Breathe Right™ “ nasal strips.
To learn more about symptoms of restricted nasal breathing visit our “Nasal Breathing Symptoms Checker Page.”
Nasal Valve Collapse Diagnosis
A detailed history and complete nasal exam are critical to diagnosing internal nasal valve collapse. Each year, Dr. Mobley sees many patients who have undergone previous nasal surgery by other surgeons but still do not have optimized nasal breathing. While each revision case has its own details, this fact underscores the importance of having your initial nasal surgery by someone dedicated fully to functional nasal surgery. It is optimal (obviously) to have all areas of nasal compromise diagnosed by a thorough evaluation, and then; if surgery is needed- have everything taken care of in just one operation. During your consultation Dr. Mobley will perform a series of examination manuevers to determine if you do suffer from nasal valve collapse. In addition to valve collapse, a complete intranasal exam will slso help Dr. Mobley determine if you suffer from a deviated nasal septum, inferior turbinate swelling, sinus infection or polyps, or adenoid enlargement. A Sinus CT scan may be required for some patients.
Nasal Valve Collapse Medical Treatment
Short of committing to wear Breath Right nasal strips daily there are not many excellent non-surgical treatments for internal valve collapse. Some patients find relief with prescription nasal sprays. However, since Utah is one of the driest states in the nation, the long-term use of these sprays can lead to nasal drying, irritation, and recurrent nosebleeds.
Nasal Valve Collapse Surgical Treatment
The best surgical treatment for internal nasal valve collapse is to open up the restricted nasal valve by placing a graft (of your own cartilage) called a “spreader” or “spacer” graft. A spreader graft is a cartilage graft that is insert between the septum and upper lateral cartilage, thereby widening the area of narrowing and opening up the internal nasal valve. The cartilage is usually carved from septal cartilage that is removed during a concurrent septoplasty. Sometimes Dr. Mobley uses a “Nasal Valve Suspension” technique although this is less commonly performed it is indidcated in certain patients.
Recovery from nasal valve surgery can be very quick. Most patients will want 2-4 days simply to recover from having had general anesthesia. Dr. Mobley rarely packs noses after surgery and so most people experience improved nasal breathing as soon as they awake in the surgical facility. The nose will appear somewhat swollen for 2-8 weeks based on how quickly you heal in general. Vigorous physical activity can be fully resumed in 2 weeks and contact sports engaged in after 6-8 weeks of recovery.
Other related procedures may include the following:
Before & After Photos
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