What does mid vault collapse mean?

I was told it looks like I had a mid valve collapse and I have breathing problems!!! I'm 20 years old and have had some trauma to my nose and have to sniff EVERY day just to breathe. Could sniffing deeply/manipulating my nsoe be damaging it? I have to live with this thing in my face for the rest of my life and I'm scared I could end up like Michael Jackson.......! :(

Doctor Answers 3

Mid vault collapse suggests weakness of the cartilage. It can be corrected.

Dear rosiecon12 in Beverly Hills, California      Sometimes people have weak cartilages, the cartilage is too thin.  Not very common but common enough for experienced surgeons to have dealt with it and can help you.  The answer is a very comprehensive consultation and evaluation of all the nasal architecture and structures, and then you will know what options are available to you.      Best wishes, Robert Kotler, MD, FACS Over 4,500 nasal procedures performed


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

An Answer to Your Problem

What is a middle vault collapse? It's when the cartilages that are located between your nasal bones and your nasal tip and that reside on either side of the nasal bridge fall in a bit. Things may look a bit indented from the outside and your breathing may be compromised. Correction is generally done by placing small strips of cartilage inside the nose so as to lift up the collapsing cartilage, improving both your appearance and breathing. Surgery is generally quite successful and does not deform your nose. 
Please see a surgeon who does rhinoplasty surgery for an evaluation.

George Sanders, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

What does mid vault collapse mean?

The mid vault of to nose is located below the nasal bones and above the nasal tip.  It is made up of the septal cartilage (the cartilage between the two nasal passages) and the upper lateral cartilages which make up the lateral wall of the middle third of the nose.  If the angle between the septal cartilage and the lower edge of the upper lateral cartilages is very narrow, and/or the structure of the cartilages is relatively weak, the cartilages can collapse against one another when breathing in rapidly (causing the collapse).  This can result in the sensation of restricted inspiration.  This can occur naturally, in patients with narrower and more delicate nasal cartilages, or following trauma and/or nasal surgery.  Sniffing or manipulating your nose probably won't cause or aggravate  mid vault collapse.  If you do have mid vault collapse, it is probably not progressive (i.e. it probably won't get worse).  But, if it is bothersome it can be treated with a grafting procedure (spreader grafts) which can widened the mid vault and prevent the collapse.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

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.