GOT NASAL CONGESTION OR STUFFY NOSE?
LATERA (registered) or nasal valve radiofrequency procedures are a minimally invasive way of improving nasal obstruction or nasal breathing. It is specifically used for nasal valve narrowing or stenosis. The nasal valve is a region of the nose just behind the nasal openings and the valve forms a crease on the outside. Weakness or aging results in collapse of the valve during the process of breathing in causing blockage. Some patients will pull the cheek to improve the breathing or raise the tip of the nose to do so. In our office, we diagnose nasal valve collapse by examining the area, using a Q tip to open the valve area to see if it improves the airway.
With the Latera procedure, an implant is placed in the nasal valve area after numbing the area in the office. The rigidity of the implant makes the nasal valve stiffer preventing its collapse during breathing. Healing is quick and there is minimal bleeding.
With radiofrequency procedures such as Vivaer or other radiofrequency treatments of the nasal valve, a radiofrequency probe is applied to the region of the nasal valve on the affected sides, one or both under local anesthesia. It is a fairly quick procedure. Scarring then results in stiffening of the valve area improving the collapse during inspiration.
WHERE IS THE LATERA PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
It can be performed in the office or in the operating room.
HOW IS THE LATERA PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Typically, local anesthesia is injected into the side wall of the nose and after prepping the area, an incision is made inside the nose, space developed for placement of the implant, and then the implant is slid into the side wall of the nose under the skin on both sides or the affected side. The Incision may or may not be close. It is advised that Icepacks be applied to the nose after the surgery to prevent swelling or bleeding.
WHEN IS IMPROVEMENT NOTICED?
Usually, the improvement is noted within a few days after the swelling settles down.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS?
Occasionally swelling or bleeding may be noted which can be controlled with pressure. Infection is rare after surgery but can happen and is treated with antibiotics. Rarely the implant may need removal. To reduce the chance of bleeding, make sure you stop the blood thinners 5 days or so prior to surgery after discussing it with your primary physician or cardiologist.