What exactly is a weak nasal internal valve?

I have consulted with a plastic surgeon regarding my nose. I have a basic understanding of the nasal structure however I have never heard of the internal valve and I do not quite understand what this is. Dr mentioned I have a weak internal valve.

Doctor Answers 2

What exactly is a weak nasal internal valve?

Surgeons may talk about weak or narrow internal valve.  It is an area of the nose where having proper airflow is important to proper nose function.  With proper identification and treatment of this area, excellent function of the nose can be maintained or optimized.  When properly treated, patients are generally very happy with the results.

Garett Wirth, MD, MS, FACS

Wirth Plastic Surgery


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

I have consulted with a plastic surgeon regarding my nose. I have a basic understanding of the nasal structure however I have ne

Your internal valve is the area of highest resistance when you breathe. When you have a weak valve it means the most important breathing area is reduced in its size therefore obstructing breathing. Weak often is can be interchanged with "narrow" to help understand the concept. The structures that make up the "valve" are the upper lateral cartilage, the septum , the inferior turbinate, and the floor of the nose. The names are not important but essentially they form the walls of a tunnel through your nose through which you breath. If "weak" the valve can be strengthened by "spreader grafts" which use your own cartilage to open up the tunnel and stent the valve open. Hope that helps!

Jeffrey Watson, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.