Collapsed Nasal Valve Surgery in Denver, CO
Whether it’s caused by genetic factors or an injury, a collapsed nasal valve can dramatically reduce your quality of life. If you’re having trouble breathing, our doctors at Advanced ENT will diagnose your condition and get you started on an effective, custom treatment plan.
What Is a Nasal Valve Collapse?
Nasal valve collapse — sometimes called stenosis — occurs when the nasal passages at the front of your nose collapse during inhalation. Because these passages are narrow to begin with, this condition can cause a partial or total obstruction in your nose, making it nearly impossible to breathe.
A collapsed nasal valve can affect one or both nostrils. Because it impairs your ability to work, exercise, and sleep, it’s important to see a professional and discuss treatment options.
What Causes Nasal Valve Collapse?
The nasal valves are naturally fragile. Often, they collapse due to an injury — but there are a handful of additional causes for internal nasal valve collapse. Here are a few of the most common:
- Trauma to the nose
- A previous nasal surgery (for example, rhinoplasty)
- A structural issue (like a deviated septum)
- Weak nasal cartilage from genetics (congenital weakness) or aging
- The presence of other problems (scar tissue, inflammation, or enlarged tissue)
Signs of Nasal Valve Collapse
If you’re having difficulty breathing inward from the nose, especially if it’s paired with nasal congestion, you might suffer from nasal valve collapse.
Your symptoms will be most evident during physical exertion, so, if you feel like your nasal passages are blocked while you’re exercising, that’s a good indication of a collapsed valve. You also might find yourself snoring frequently or waking up groggy due to poor sleep quality.
Remember: A little bit of nasal valve collapse is common! It’s normal to feel your nasal passage narrowing when you’re breathing heavily. Typical sicknesses like the flu can also make it harder to inhale through the nose.
To ensure that you isolate the root cause, reach out to a doctor like our specialists at Advanced ENT.
– What Our Patients Say –
“I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Menacof and his staff. The office runs very smoothly and efficiently. All my questions were always answered. I had a successful surgery and I am very satisfied with my results. I would 100% recommend Advanced ENT & Allergy to everyone.” – Melissa S.
Can Nasal Valve Collapse Get Worse?
Yes. If the tissue in your nasal valve has started to weaken, it’s unlikely to heal on its own.
Often, your nasal structures will continue to deteriorate. Prompt treatment is the best way to shield your nose against further collapse.
Diagnosing Nasal Valve Collapse
Diagnosing a nasal valve collapse can be tricky. Thankfully, there are several procedures an ENT doctor can perform to determine the source of your symptoms. Here are the steps most providers will take:
- Conduct a careful review of your medical history.
- Perform an endoscopy (by inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera into your sinus passages).
- Examine your nose with a more complicated procedure, such as:
- Cottle’s maneuver: A gentle lateral pull on the cheek, checking for signs of nasal obstruction
- Bachan’s maneuver: Using tools to widen the nasal valve and assess breathing
- Anterior rhinomanometry: Checking airflow with a pressure-sensing tube
- Acoustic rhinometry: Sending sound waves through the nasal cavity to study its shape and function
How to Repair Nasal Valve Collapse
Here at Advanced ENT, we take three primary approaches to treatment: medication, breathing strips, or nasal valve surgery. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Sometimes, allergies will cause your nasal valve to swell up, shrinking your nasal passages and making it harder to inhale.
If allergies are the root cause of your nasal agitation, we’ll treat your condition with allergy drops or medications like antihistamines or anti–inflammatories. As the inflammation subsides, your airways will begin to open, and you’ll be on the road back to normal breathing.
If you’ve noticed that your nasal passages are only bothering you when you’re sleeping, a breathing strip could be the right treatment path for you. Breathing strips prevent your nasal valve and airways from collapsing, allowing air to flow freely through your nostrils.
Nasal Valve Surgery
The last, and strongest, line of defense against nasal valve collapse is a surgical procedure.
Because nasal valve surgeries involve a number of techniques and vary based on the patient, we won’t get into the details — but we will break down the basics.
With surgery, the overall goal is to open or stent the internal nasal valves. That way, they won’t collapse during inhalation, and you’ll be able to breathe without trouble. Your provider will also strive to use minimally invasive techniques to minimize recovery time and reduce the chance of scarring.
Usually, nasal surgery involves removing a piece of cartilage from your septum or ear, then placing it into a pocket in the nasal valve to prop it open. Sometimes, your provider might use an artificial cartilage graft or implant (like the LATERA implant), to support the lateral cartilage in your nose.
If there’s another condition that contributed to the collapse of your nasal valve, the surgeon might treat that simultaneously. Typical surgeries include:
- A septoplasty
- A rhinoplasty
- A reconstructive surgery
To decide on the best course of action — and make your recovery as fast as possible — you’ll want to ensure that you’re in the hands of a trained specialist. Our team at Advanced ENT has years of experience treating collapsed nasal valves, and we’re committed to making your recovery as smooth as possible.
Recovery After Collapsed Nasal Valve Surgery
Fortunately, surgeries for nasal valve collapse can be performed in just one day. In most cases, you’ll need to limit physical activity after the procedure. On average, it takes 3 to 14 days to return to a completely normal lifestyle, but some patients recover more quickly.
You should expect some pain and swelling after your surgery. Remember to take your prescribed medicines and follow your doctor’s instructions to manage the pain!
Denver’s Nasal Valve Specialists
Dr. Menachof and the team at Advanced ENT have been successfully treating breathing problems for decades. We’ll review your medical history, learn about your lifestyle and goals, then craft a custom treatment plan to address your nasal valve collapse.
If you’re ready to breathe easier and return to stress-free Colorado living, call (303) 792-3242 or reach out to us online today!
Though it depends on your exact policy, insurance usually does cover nasal valve surgery. As long as your surgery is functional instead of cosmetic, insurance will cover part or all of the cost for surgery, anesthesia, and facility use.
If you have questions about insurance or treatment options, feel free to reach out to our clinic.
Every case is different, but it’s best to take nasal valve collapse seriously and get it treated promptly. Without treatment, your symptoms will likely worsen over time.
Depending on the surgical approach, you should expect your procedure to take between 30 minutes and two hours.
Nasal valve surgery is an effective and popular treatment for nasal breathing issues. Within months of the procedure, between 60 and 90% of people reported significant improvement in symptoms.