Find out how functional rhinoplasty can be used to permanently open up internal or external nasal valve narrowing and improve chronic nasal congestion without needing to use Breathe Right strips anymore.
How do Breathe-right strips work?
To see how nasal surgery can create durable nasal congestion correction lets look at how Breathe Right strips work in the first place. Breathe Right strips work by springing open the upper lateral cartilages (internal nasal valve) and/or lower lateral cartilages (external nasal valve) thereby widening the internal and external nasal valves. You can see where these cartilages are located in this schematic:
Alternatives to Breathe Right strips
So what can you do if you find that Breathe Right strips improve your breathing, but you'd rather have a permanent solution to your breathing problems? To find the appropriate surgical solution for nasal valve narrowing we must determine which area or areas need to be addressed.
Dynamic external nasal valve collapse
Some people have external nasal valve collapse only when they take a deep breath in through their nose. This dynamic external valve collapse can be treated using alar batten grafts. This is involves placing cartilage grafts along the nasal sidewall to strengthen the tissue in the area and preventing collapse of the nose.
Static external valve collapse
Other people will have a baseline collapse or narrowing of the external nasal valves even when not taking in a deep breath through the nose. In some cases this can result from over-aggressive rhinoplasty surgery, but in many other cases it results from congenitally weak or malpostioned lower lateral cartilages. This malposition can include internal re-curvature of the LLCs where the lateral ends of the cartilage curve back into the internal nasal airway or cephalic malposition where the lower lateral cartilages are angled too far upward and don't support the nasal sidewalls properly.
Internal valve collapse
Treatment of internal nasal valve collapse is done using spreader grafts.
Real life examples of permanent Breathe-right strips
The beauty of the type of cartilage repositioning is that it can not only improve the function of the nose but also the form (aesthetics) of the nose. In my next post I'll show you some examples of nasal valve rhinoplasty surgery in action.
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