Nasal valve insufficiency or collapse is the weakness or narrowing of this area. It is the narrowest part of the airway, high in the nose between nasal septum and lateral nasal wall (internal nasal valve).
In some cases, even the external nostril wall closes in and so we get external nasal valve insufficiency.
When we breathe in this area must present a resistance in order for the air to enter and consequently for a good pulmonary function. Any problem in the nasal valves seriously obstructs breathing and sometimes it interrupts it completely.
Nasal valve operation is often done in combination with nasal septum alignment (or plastic surgery). Most recent research has announced that 50% of breathing problems is caused by the nasal valve area, 30% by a tilted septum and 20% to nasal concha hypertrophy.
It is therefore very important to carry out a check and pre-operative diagnosis of the nasal valve problems for our operation to be a complete success.
Causes for Nasal Valve Insufficiency
- Aging tissue,
- Iatrogenic causes (from a previous operation),
For example, after a reduction rhinoplasty, the nose structure presents weaknesses, because cartilage has been removed from the lateral walls and this affects nasal valves greatly.
The best choice is surgical correction.
There are many techniques which can be individualized
Α) Use of spreader grafts, ( between upper lateral cartilages and the septum)
Β) Reinforcement batten grafts, (placed at lateral walls between nasal and lower lateral cartilages)
C) Reinforcement lower lateral cartilage strut grafts, placed below lateral cartilages and strengthen them.
D) Labial Rim grafts, placed on the lower limit of the nostril and enhance the external nasal valve.
Many more techniques have been mentioned and it is up to the surgeon’s experience to apply them successfully in order to free breathing.
Cartilage grafts are usually from the nasal septum of the patient himself.