The nasal valve is the entrance of the nose just past the nostrils. The valve is made up of several components including cartilage inside the nose. For some, the cartilage of the nose becomes weak causing collapse with deep inspiration.
If the nasal valve collapse enough they can contribute to nasal blockage, mouth breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Nasal Valve Reconstruction Procedures are performed through the nose without any scars on the outside of the nose or face. A small incision is made inside the nose to expose the cartilage that supports your nostrils. A series of small sutures is then placed to suspend the cartilage from collapsing.
Another technique addresses the columella, the strip of skin running from the tip of the nose to the upper lip, which separates the nostrils. If the columella is contributing to nasal valve collapse, Dr. Pasha may recommend reshaping the columellar cartilage and skin to a more normal position and shape. This procedure is also done through small incisions inside the nose without any outside scars.
The total time for both these operations is 20-30 minutes and is performed using general anesthesia (while you are asleep). You should anticipate going home the same day unless other medical conditions complicate recovery. This procedure is highly tolerated.
Dr. Pasha routinely combines septoplasties with nasal valve reconstruction procedures to widen the nasal cavity.
Actually it is quite easy. You may examine your own nose by looking at a mirror then breath in quickly through your nose. If you see your nostrils collapse then you may have a nasal valve problem.
Ultimately, Dr. Pasha will evaluate your nose in the office.
The operation itself is not painful since you are asleep for the procedure. For a stand-alone procedure, the discomfort after the surgery is minimal. However, if the procedure is performed with a septoplasty, one should anticipate a few days of discomfort with an additional one-week of soreness. Pain medications will be prescribed to reduce your discomfort.
You may return to work or school whenever comfortable, approximately 3-4 days. However, if your procedure is combined with a septoplasty, Dr. Pasha suggests taking one week off until after the splints are removed.
Nasal valve reconstruction procedures are safe with rare complications. The more common risk is failure of the suspension resulting in continued nasal valve collapse. The risk of general anesthesia as well as other rare complications will be discussed with you in the office.