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Board Certifications: American Board of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery American Board of Otolaryngology - ABO

Dr. Rizk’s Treatment of Nasal Obstruction from Nasal Valve Collapse

All of us experience minor nasal obstruction or feeling “stuffed up” from time to time. However, in some cases, nasal obstruction can be more severe. Chronic nasal obstruction can cause breathing problems, and therefore, must be treated right away.

What Causes Nasal Obstruction?

Nasal obstruction can be caused by a variety of factors, one of which is a nasal valve collapse. This refers to weakness or narrowness of the nasal valve, the narrowest portion of the nasal airway. Nasal valve collapse may be caused by trauma to the nose, prior rhinoplasty procedures, and other factors.

Sometimes, nasal valve collapse can be treated by lifting the cheek tissue on the side of the nose that is obstructed. Special nasal strips may also be used. However, in some cases, these measures will not suffice, and surgery may be required.

Defining the Best Approach for Nasal Valve Collapse Patients

There are different surgical approaches that can be implemented. Your nose surgeon will need to identify the cause of the nasal valve collapse in order to determine which surgical approach is right for your situation.

For example, an internal nasal valve collapse may be treated by placing strips of cartilage in the collapsed area, or through the reattachment of cartilage to the septum. Alar batten grafts may be used if the collapse is caused by weakness in the nasal sidewall. In some cases, the surgeon may choose to combine alar batten grafts with a septoplasty procedure, or with cartilage harvested from the ear or elsewhere.

In other cases, septorhinoplasty with alar batten grafts may be more suitable. Some patients who have had previous rhinoplasty procedures may need revision septorhinoplasty with ear cartilage grafts and batten grafts. Again, it all depends on the patient’s particular circumstance.

Speak with your rhinoplasty surgeon for more information on treating nasal obstruction caused by a nasal valve collapse.

Nasal Valve Collapse Repair

When the valves of the nose collapse and fail to function correctly, a person’s health may be negatively impacted due to inadequate airflow through the nose. In this case, Dr. Rizk may recommend that you undergo surgery to correct the problem. This type of surgery is commonly referred to as nasal valve collapse repair and can be performed to correct the internal or external nasal valves. Nasal valve collapse may also be referred to as nasal stenosis.

Internal Nasal Valve Repair

The internal nasal valve is located at the narrowest part of the inner nose, toward the top of the nasal bridge. The internal valve may become damaged as a result of trauma to the nose, such as an accident or sports injury.

Another common cause is a previous rhinoplasty, particularly a closed rhinoplasty. In these cases, crucial support cartilage is no longer able to hold the valves of the nose open, restricting airflow through the nose. Not only can this cause breathing problems, but it can also result in visible cosmetic deformities.

Most often, spreader grafts are used to widen the area around the valves, thereby restoring proper shape and providing adequate support to the nose. In certain cases, additional procedures, such as a septoplasty or turbinoplasty, will be performed to ensure full repair of the collapsed internal valve.

There are many techniques that may be used to repair a collapsed internal valve. Our top New York plastic surgeon will determine which technique can best address your problem after your initial consultation.

External Nasal Valve Repair

The external valves of the nose are found at the base of the nose just inside the nostrils. Patients with collapsed external valves commonly have narrow nostrils or a projecting nasal tip.

Collapsed external valves are commonly caused by a prior rhinoplasty in which the revisions caused a weakening of the internal sidewalls or resulted in a sagging tip. Some people experience collapsed external valves due to the aging process, which causes the nasal tip to elongate and droop, impeding airflow through the nostrils.

The most common treatment for external valve stenosis is rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty to correct collapsed external valves should only be performed by a surgeon who is highly experienced in addressing valve collapse, such as Dr. Rizk in NYC. During rhinoplasty to correct external stenosis, batten grafts are commonly placed to widen the external valves and support the nasal walls. External valve repair surgery is able to greatly improve airflow through the nose and correct cosmetic defects associated with an external valve collapse.

Internal and external valve collapse is a medical problem, so valve repair surgery is often covered by medical insurance. If you require nasal valve surgery, it is important to work with a surgeon who is experienced in treating your specific type of valve collapse. Our New York plastic surgeon is highly skilled in correcting both forms of nasal stenosis. Through this surgery, you can regain proper nasal function and address any deformities caused by collapsed valves.

How Does Dr. Rizk Treat an Internal/External Valve Collapse Or Stenosis?

Dr. Rizk uses several approaches to treat internal/external nasal valve collapses. In many cases, surgery is necessary to correct an internal or external valve collapse.

Dr. Rizk will choose what type of procedure to perform based on the cause of the collapse, the patient’s unique anatomy, and other factors. For both internal and external nasal valve collapse surgeries, he often uses spreader and nasal batton grafts.

Internal valve collapse is often treated by placing strips of cartilage in the area that has collapsed. In addition, cartilage may need to be reattached to the septum. Alar batten grafts are often used with collapses that occurred due to weakness in the nasal sidewalls. In some cases, alar batten grafts are combined with septoplasty or septorhinoplasty.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Rizk to learn more about treatments for stenosis.

Written by Dr. Sam Rizk

Date Last Modified: 02/14/2020

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