Hello, I wanted to know what exactly does an Alar Batten graft achieve? Also will it make my alar base wider or increase the flare? Will it make the area much fuller? Thanks.
Alar Batten Grafts
Doctor Answers 8
Alar batten grafts for rhinoplasty
Alar batten grafts will not widen the base of the nose. They may give slightly more fullness to the shallow "dip" just above the nostrils, and they are almost exclusively used to correct breathing problems (the function) rather than for esthetic problems (the form).
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Alar batten grafts can widen the nose
It depends how you place these graftrs and what type of cartilage you use. I am a big fan of alar batten grafts and use them liberally, but not to the detriment of hte aesthetic outcome. Probably need to have a chat with your surgeon.
Trouble breathing? "Alar batten grafts" may be the answer
"Alar batten graft" is a fancy name for cartilage that is placed on the inside of the nostrils. To understand why surgeons use these grafts, as an exercise breathe in through your nose very quickly. Notice what happens to your nostrils - they will cave in and nearly close down. When you're breathing at rest, this doesn't happen because your nostril walls (the alae, pronounced "ay-lee") are strong enough to resist collapse during normal respiration. Some people have no strength in their alar walls, so their nostrils may collapse even at rest, causing obstruction of their nasal airway. These are the people who need alar batten grafts in order to strengthen their alar walls to prevent them from collapsing while breathing, like pillars holding up a roof. "Breath Right Nasal Strips" are like tape-on alar batten grafts - they stent open your nostrils from the outside. If you have a pinched tip or feel your nasal alae collapsing during breathing or exercise, alar batten grafts may be the difference between easy or obstructed breathing.
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Alar batten grafts also reduce flare
Alar batten grafts as mentioned above help stiffen the nasal airway to prevent collapse of the nasal valve during inspiration as previously mentioned, BUT they also help to reduce a flared looking nostril, or a retracted nostril. This is useful in reducing the pinched appearance of the nostril almost like pulling the brim downward on a hat.
Alar battens, or alar wall grafts, support the nostrils and external valves
There are two paired valves in the nose, one on each side: the internal and external valves. Each one stabilizes the sides of the nose. If the sides of your nose collapse, your airway will not be good even if your septum is perfectly straight. My research in 600 patients shows that stiffening incompetent external valves doubles airflow in most patients.
Alar battens or alar wall grafts simply stiffen the nostril rims. Spreader grafts are different: they hold open the internal valves in the middle third (like the effect of Breathe Right Strips). Whether alar wall grafts make the sides thicker depends upon the surgeon's intention and the building materials Some nostrils are thin and floppy--others are the right width but too soft. Each can be appropriately corrected. Let your surgeon guide you.
They help breathing
Alar batten grafts help improve your breathing if your problem is the side walls of your nose collapsing with inspiring. In most people, they should not be noticeable long-term but you will have some intial swelling that will make the nose look wider. This should subside in a few weeks.
Alar batten graft
Alar batten grafts do not make the nose wider. They support the breathing area and prevent the pinched in look that often can occur with significant tip narrowing.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.