If you always feel like your nasal passages can never fully open, causing difficulty breathing through the nose, you might have nasal valve collapse. It’s usually caused by existing or acquired deformities of the nasal cartilage or bones – perhaps you broke your nose in a football game or your nose has never been fully open.
Nasal valve collapse repair has only started to be talked about more in the last couple of years, thanks to a new, helpful intervention ENT Consultants of East Tennessee can perform that doesn’t require major surgery. Here is what’s involved.
Rhinoplasty – A Previous Repair Option for Nasal Valve Collapse
The nasal valves are primarily made of thin cartilage that can be hard to fix, and rhinoplasty is the term used for altering or reconstructing this cartilage.
Rhinoplasty can be done for cosmetic reasons or functional reasons. It is the “nose job” surgery that you see celebrities getting on TV or a functional surgery that can be done to strengthen the cartilage.
A functional rhinoplasty will widen parts of the nose that are narrow and improve the flow of air through the nose. It involves:
- Incisions made either under or inside the nose
- Lifting the skin of the nose
- Reconstructing or recreating the cartilage
- Sometimes breaking some of the bones as well
It’s a pretty involved operation.
For some people, a rhinoplasty is absolutely the right way to go. But for a lot of people, they’d say, Well, you know, I’ve got this stuffy nose; it bothers me. It’s not particularly painful, it’s not a life-threatening problem, it’s not ruining my life.
These people decide they don’t want to go with that more involved intervention and shy away from the idea of a rhinoplasty.
Do You Have Nasal Airway Obstruction?
You might have nasal airway obstruction if you have:
- nasal congestion,
- a blockage or obstruction, or
- you find it hard to get enough air though your nose during exertion.
Cottle’s maneuver – A simple test to see where the nasal obstruction is, is called a Cottle’s maneuver (CM). If you pull your nose out by pulling gently on the cheek on that side, you can often breathe better.
But how do you open up the nose like that all the time? Do you insert something in there? The ENTCET team can help open up your nasal airways with a simple solution.
The LATERA Implant
We now we have a great intervention for nasal valve collapse that doesn’t involve rhinoplasty – it’s done with a little inserted piece of dissolvable plastic called a LATERA implant. It’s made of the same type of plastic that absorbable sutures are made of.
The thinking behind making the implant bioabsorbable is that as the implant is absorbed into the lateral wall of the nose, new collagen and tissue grows in its place.
This small implant goes in right next to the cartilages, and it provides a little cantilever or support beam for the nasal passages so that the cartilage won’t collapse. The lateral wall becomes so well supported that when you take a deep breath in, the nose doesn’t shut.
The implant can be done in the operating room, or it can be done in the clinic with local numbing medicine.
This new intervention means that nasal valve collapse can be fixed reasonably easily compared to rhinoplasty.
Nasal Valve Collapse Repair in East Tennessee
If you would like to find relief for your nasal valve collapse, schedule a consultation with the ENT center closest to you – in Knoxville or Lenoir City. We’ll assess the cause of your breathing obstruction and recommend a treatment plan that works best for you.
We look forward to helping you breathe easily again.