In general, most of the breathing we do is done through the nose, not the mouth. We do not usually consciously pay attention to our breathing, unless something is disrupting the airflow from the nose, such as congestion from illness or allergy, or obstruction due to a nasal deformity. There are many nasal deformities and injuries that can disrupt normal breathing–deviated septum, sleep apnea, enlarged turbinates, and other problems that create chronic airflow issues, necessitating extra breathing through the mouth. One such problem that can develop is known as nasal valve collapse.
About Nasal Valve Collapse
The nasal valves are located at the tip of the nose, and they regulate airflow to the nose. When the nasal valves are collapsed, the nose may appear pinched when not in motion. In other cases, the nose appears normal until the person breathes, causing the tip of the nose to pinch inward. Nasal valve collapse can result from a number of different causes. The most common is from a poor rhinoplasty (nasal surgery) result, but the problem can also be caused by trauma or natural nasal structure. The airflow restriction caused by valve collapse can greatly hinder breathing.
Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty Can Help
Nasal valve collapse can be repaired with rhinoplasty or revision rhinoplasty with a qualified plastic surgeon. During the procedure, the surgeon will perform surgical different techniques according to the patient’s specific needs. This often includes the use of cartilage grafts known as “spreader grafts.” These grafts help strengthen the area and open it up for better breathing.
Rhinoplasty has other benefits besides repairing nasal structures. While nasal surgery to correct breathing problems is known as “functional” rhinoplasty, nasal surgery can also improve the aesthetic qualities of the nose, even those left following an initial rhinoplasty surgery. Often, cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty techniques are combined, allowing the patient to gain both benefits with one surgery. The only downside to this is that no insurance company will pay for aesthetic changes, so the patient must pay for these costs out of pocket. Coverage for functional rhinoplasty varies widely.
Initial recovery from rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty takes about one to two weeks. The final aesthetic results of the procedure can take up to a year to settle completely, but breathing should be greatly improved following the initial recovery period.
Take Your Time and Choose Wisely
Rhinoplasty is a highly versatile procedure that can greatly improve breathing and the aesthetic appearance of the nose, but it is a highly complex surgery which can be disastrous if not performed by an expert facial plastic surgeon. Revision rhinoplasty is an even more difficult procedure, due to weakened nasal structure and scar tissue that is present following primary rhinoplasty surgery. To set yourself up for success, you should do your research and consider only board-certified rhinoplasty specialists like Dr. Stuart Bentkover of Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester(508-363-6500) and Stoneham(617-247-0033), MA. Dr. Bentkover has been honing his rhinoplasty skills for more than two decades, and is standing by to help you breathe better. For more information, call either of Dr. Bentkover’s offices today to schedule your consultation.