What Does It Mean To Hear My "Valve Has Collapsed" 4 Months Post Op?

I Underwent a Rhinoplasty on July 18th and Have Been Very Pleased with the Result in general. However, a month or so ago I noticed a small circular slightly raised lump on the left side of the nose. Most people cannot notice this until I point it out, but it bothered me. Since then I sometimes have the sensation of something 'flapping' in my nose when I breathe.......it feels like I need to clean my nose. I saw my surgeon yesterday and he didn't seem bothered by it at all. He said that 'the valve had collapsed, but may correct in time and I shouldn't worry'?

Doctor Answers 7

Post rhinoplasty deformity and breathing difficulty.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A collapse valve ( internal valve ) can cause nasal obstruction when you breath in. This is du to the inward migration of the upper lateral cartilage after a rhinoplasty. You may require a cartilage graft called the spreader graft to correct the problem. Ask your surgeon if he can't help you get another opinion from a different plastic surgeon.

Valve collapse means your nose has lost support

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your nose has lost support from your previous surgery.  Over time, this may cause breathing problems and cosmetic issues.  You may require revision surgery if your breathing is significantly obstructed or if you nose has a collapsed appearance.  I would recommend a surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery if you do need revision surgery.  Warmest regards.

Dr. Pippin

Gregory Pippin, MD
Metairie Facial Plastic Surgeon

What Does It Mean To Hear My "Valve Has Collapsed" 4 Months Post Op?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The term "valve" means in your case the internal nasal valve has lost its integrity to support the external/internal lateral nasal wall. This could be due to the surgery, or your anatomy or a combination of both. In most cases this WILL not correct on its own. Seek second opinions in person. 


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Without photos, a face to face examination or even knowing exactly what was done at surgery it is impossible to know what the problem is or how to fix it. It sounds like the initial swelling after surgery masked these problems that are now becoming visible as the swelling resolves. This may be worse even more when more of the swelling resolves or stay the same. I doubt it will resolve on its own though & if you really do have valve collapse I seriously doubt it will go away on its own either.

If too much cartilage is removed at surgery the valves can collapse. Some patients have inherently weak cartilage & they may get some degree of collapse even if the surgeon takes out the usual amount of cartilage that would not cause collapse in most people.

The nose has external valves at the nostril openings and internal valves inside the nose just above the tip cartilages. When they collapse they basically collapse or close on inspiration blocking the flow of air. If you do not see this when you look in the mirror you do not have valve collapse.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Nasal Valve Collapse after Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Nasal valves collapse whether is internal or external is commonly associated with breathing problem. Common causes of nasal valve collapse include previous trauma to the nose or cosmetic rhinoplasty. In my opinion many ENT surgeons are not comfortable with repair of nasal valves. It may be necessary to find a facial plastic surgeon, since these surgeons have adequate training to perform this corrective surgery. However if there is no breathing problem, you may follow up with your surgeon. Good luck. Dr. Kevin Sadati

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

Valve Issues After Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

What can occur after rhinoplasty is that the cartilage will start to warp and rotate into the airway on one edge and out towards the skin on the other edge.  This is why you feel a bump on one side and have a flap on the other.  It is unlikely to get better by itself, but at this point you need to let the nose continue to heal and consider readdressing the issue at 6 months post-surgery.

Joseph Campanelli, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal valve collapsed post op

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

without a good examination I believe it would be difficult to say if it will become an issue for you are not. the nasal valve area in the nose is important for airflow inside the nose. I would recommend you have it checked out possibly by an ENT in your area to see if it needs to be corrected or is a non issue.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 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.