Treatment of the Collapsed Nasal Valve


What is nasal valve collapse?

The nasal valve is a complex structure on the anterior part of the nose. It offers some resistance to airflow intake. This measured resistance is needed for the normal functioning of the pulmonary system. However, when there is too much resistance, nasal obstruction occurs and this compromises breathing. It is important to point out that, the physiological air resistance at this point of the respiratory system accounts for up to 80% of all the normal resistance in the system. This means that a slight obstruction in this area results in significant symptoms of breathing difficulties.

A common cause of this obstruction is when the nasal septum and the lower lateral cartilage draw close together in the process narrowing the nasal opening.  This forms the primary problem in nasal valve collapse.

Treatment of nasal valve collapse

The aim of any treatment for nasal valve collapse is to reduce nasal breathing effort due to narrowed air entrance. There are different techniques that ENT surgeons use to do this.  There are about a dozen described surgical procedures to help with this type of nasal blockage – unfortunately when so many options exist it is clear there is no good single treatment! One of the latest in this effort is the use of an absorbable nasal implant that helps to keep the nostrils patent. Spirox Latera is the newly (2016) FDA approved device that helps to achieve this.  Latera has the huge advantage of being a minimally-invasive direct approach that does not change the outer appearance of the nose.  There is also temperature-controlled radiofrequency contouring of the nasal valves (the VivAer Aerin or RhinAer approach).

Why consider Spirox Latera absorbable nasal implant

According to a study published in the, this procedure was found to be safe. Another study has also established this fact. In a study of 30 subjects, only a few reported non-serious device-related hematoma and inflammation. Only 3 out of 56 implants needed to be removed after insertion (some patients need more than one implant depending on their nasal valve status). Other transient effects included:

  • Mild bruising, mild pain, mild irritation
  • Feeling the presence of the implant

A nasal implant addresses an often forgotten area relevant to nasal vale collapse – the lateral nasal wall and the internal nasal valve. While these areas contribute to about 60% of the incidence of nasal valve collapse, only about 5% of surgeries aim to correct the problems at this site. This means that a major cause of nasal valve collapse is usually not well taken care of by conventional nasal valve collapse surgeries. Latera nasal implant helps to rectify these regions.

Spirox Latera improves the overall quality of life for patients with nasal valve collapse. This is pegged on the factors considered under the Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) survey and supported by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. These include:

  • Less nasal congestion, stuffiness
  • Improved nasal breathing
  • Better nasal breathing during active physical exertion
  • Better sleep

Spirox Latera absorbable Nasal Implant doesn’t cause unsightly nasal anatomical changes such as widening and thickening of the nose. This is usually a risk where more invasive surgical intervention for nasal valve collapse is used.

Who can benefit from Latera absorbable nasal implant?

Any person with nasal valve collapse may benefit from this procedure. However, at Advanced ENT, we fully assess the patient and consider all points of nasal obstruction. Currently Dr. Rogers and Dr. Bomeli are performing this procedure at our practice.  It is only after this that we come up with an individualized treatment plan depending on the findings. This is in contrast to other centers that only perform septoplasty which doesn’t always address all sources of nasal obstruction.

We perform the procedure as a stand-alone treatment or as part of other nasal surgical interventions.

Our center is already using Spirox Latera procedure to change patients’ life for the better. In line with our goals of avoiding unnecessary hospital stays (and as a patient’s cost-cutting efforts), we will soon start offering this procedure in our offices.

To find out more about this procedure or more information about nasal valve collapse, please contact us and our ENT experts will be ready to answer all your questions. Here is our contact page