What is Nasal Valve Collapse?

The term nasal obstruction or nasal blockage describes a condition in which airflow through the nose is limited, making it difficult to breathe.  Nasal Valve collapse is a common type of nasal obstruction. This type of nasal obstruction involves nostril collapse. It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from nasal airway obstruction. Many of them are living with the symptoms of this condition without knowing treatment is available to help them breathe easier.

Symptoms Of Nasal Valve Collapse

  • Chronic stuffiness or congestion
  • Trouble breathing through the nose, especially upon exertion
  • Difficulty sleeping due to breathing difficulty
  • The visible collapse of the nostrils

Causes Of Nasal Obstruction

Common causes of nasal obstruction include nasal allergies and sinus issues. However, nasal valve collapse is another common cause. In this type of nasal obstruction, there is a weakness in the cartilage foundation that supports the nostrils. Either the cartilage itself is weak, the ligaments that support them are weak, or both issues are present.  Weakness in the ligaments or cartilage of the nose may result from an injury or prior surgery. In some cases, nasal valve collapse is an age-related problem.  Historically, nasal valve collapse has been vastly undertreated. The common approach to correcting weak cartilage and ligaments involved grafting tissue from another area of the body, which carried substantial risk and required significant surgery. Additionally, the available method of tissue grafting could potentially change the appearance of the nose without adequately correcting the anatomical abnormality causing the obstruction to the nasal passageways. Now, we have LATERA.

How Does LATERA Work?

LATERA improves the structure of the airway by mechanically holding the nostrils in a more open, rigid position. The FDA-approved implant is inserted just inside the nostril rim through a tiny puncture in the skin. The implant is positioned over the area in which obstruction has occurred.

How Is LATERA Absorbed?

The latex-free polylactic acid material that is used to make the LATERA implant is similar to dissolvable sutures. Over time, this material disintegrates and is absorbed into surrounding tissue. From here, the body naturally processes the substance and eliminates it.  The dissolution of the rigid polylactic acid implant occurs over approximately 18 months. During this time, the material stimulates an increase in collagen production. As a result, the effects of having the implant will be persistent even after the implant has been absorbed.

Benefits Of LATERA

One of the primary benefits of LATERA is that the treatment can be conducted in the office under IV sedation. The procedure does not involve incisions or stitches, nor any major adjustments to the foundational structure of the nose. No general anesthesia is needed, which means there is no downtime for recovery. Patients typically resume normal activities the next day after their LATERA implant is inserted.

How Does The LATERA Implant Improve Nasal Blockage?

  • Improved breathing capability through the nose
  • Decrease the sensation of congestion
  • Better quality sleep due to improved air flow
  • Better physical comfort during exercise or other types of exertion

Risks Of LATERA Implant?

There are very few risks associated with LATERA. The dissolvable implant is made from a material that has been safely used in medicine for many years. The risk of reaction to the polylactic acid is minimal, as is the risk of infection because only a small nick in the skin is made to insert the implant. The more common effects that may occur after LATERA treatment include mild irritation or discomfort at the insertion point or area in which the implant is positioned. Some patients may encounter slight inflammation or bruising. These side effects should diminish within a few days. There is a small risk the implant may be extruded by the body and may need to be replaced.