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Nasal valve dysfunction: diagnosis and treatment

Yarlagadda, Bharat B; Dolan, Robert W

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: February 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 25–29
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283419507
Nose and paranasal sinuses: Edited by Anshul Sama

Purpose of review This article reviews the etiology and treatment options for nasal valve stenosis (NVS), a common cause of nasal obstruction. It is based on meta-analyses, published expert panel opinions, extensive literature review, and previously published results of our own clinical experience.

Recent findings Diagnosis and management of NVS continue to evolve. Although most studies that describe the surgical techniques of nasal valve repair report an improvement in patient complaints, there is a paucity of controlled trials that point to the most effective method. Lack of high-grade evidence may be due to ambiguities in objectifying patient complaints, standardizing treatment, and the lack of adequate controls. Recent literature addresses these ambiguities and provides suggestions on future directives in research. There is also a trend towards minimally invasive treatments that are effective in treatment of appropriate patients.

Summary The diagnosis of NVS is primarily based on the subjective feeling of nasal obstruction associated with specific findings on the physical examination. Patient complaints are best objectified with validated questionnaires. Treatment of this condition is typically surgical and, as is evident by the plethora of described surgical procedures, there is often no consensus as to the best choice even in patients with identical findings on physical examination.

Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Robert W. Dolan, MD, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Lahey Clinic, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805, USA Tel: +1 781 744 8453; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.