Closed Valve After Rhinoplasty?

I recently had Rhinoplasty and was told by my plastic surgeon that I have collapsed valves from the surgery. He said I should just live with it, and that trying to fix it might cause more damage. Is this true?

Doctor Answers 8

Closed Valve after rhinoplasty

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 I am a bit surprised that a doctor would tell you that you have to live with nasal airway obstruction. you should probably go see an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon and be re-evaluated.  If you recently had surgery, you most likely will have to wait 6 months to a year to revise it. 

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breathing Problems After Rhinoplasty

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Nasal valve collapse after cosmetic rhinoplasty is an undesirable outcome, and even though your surgeon indicates so, you should not be expected to live with chronic nasal obstruction. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon will strive not only to make your nose more attractive, but also make you breathe more freely. A great cosmetic outcome is negated if a patient breathes worse after rhinoplasty. You should seek another surgeon and inquire about fixing the problem with a nasal valve reconstruction, otherwise called a functional rhinoplasty.

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Valve collapse can be easily fixed

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The valve collapse can be easily fixed through spreader grafts placed on the inside of the nose. Spreader grafts are harvested from septal cartilage or ear cartilage, then fashioned and placed in the internal nasal valve. They push the upper lateral cartilages outward to create improvement in the airflow dynamics through the nose and open up the nasal valve. These are an excellent tool for improvement in this area, middle third of the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Nasal valve repair after previous Rhinoplasty.

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The nasal valve is the area in your nose between the septum, turbinates, and nose-cartilage. If the valve collapses, you could have obstructed nasal breathing.

Are you happy with the appearance of your nose? Are you breathing well through your nose?

If your nose looks fine, but your breathing is obstructed, you should consult a board-certified ENT for an opinion. You might be a candidate for an in-office turbinate-reduction procedure.

If you're unhappy with your appearance, and breathing, you should consult a board-certified, experienced rhinoplasty surgeon with many favorable photos of revision rhinoplasty surgeries.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Eventually, I suspect you will want it fixed.

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Valve collapse can be challenging to repair, but once a nose is well healed from surgery (typically a year out), valve correction can be considered. Correction of the valve will almost always change the shape of the nose somewhat, usually making it slightly wider or less pinched.

For most post-rhinoplasty valve repair, I'll often use spreader grafts fixated between the septum and upper lateral cartilages, but I'll often also add a submucosal reduction of the inferior turbinates (depending on the case) and maybe alar batten grafts.

A surgeon who is also trained specifically in rhinology (e.g., an ear, nose, and throat surgeon) in addition to facial plastic or general plastic surgery should be able to advise you well in this regard.

All the best,


David C. Pearson, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal Valve Collapse After Rhinoplasty

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This most certainly is not true. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon knows that prevention of valve collapse after rhinoplasty is usually preventable. Providing support in the nasal valve area should be part of the planned procedure. Now that you have already had a rhinoplasty, it means you will need a second procedure to fix the problem. This means using cartilage from either inside the nose (if available), or from the ear to provide support for the nasal walls so they are strong enough to stay open while breathing in. Seek another consultation by a surgeon familiar with both nasal functional problems and revision rhinoplasty.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Internal nasal valve reconstruction a good option for closed valve after Rhinoplasty

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I agree that you need a second opinion.

Internal nasal valve collapse after Rhinoplasty can be corrected with cartilage grafting to reconstruct the valve.

This procedure does require experience and technical skill so consult board certified plastic surgeons who are experienced in this technique. Ask direct questions at the time of your consult eg. have they done this procedure and are they confident about a result.

Get another opinion

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There are multiple ways to correct narrow nasal valves.

This may require grafting cartilage from the nose, ears or ribs and does carry risk. Therefore, you should strongly consider the alternatives of not doing surgery (especially if it does not bother you).

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.