A novel intranasal stent for functional rhinoplasty and nostril stenosis

Kristin K Egan, David W Kim
Laryngoscope 2005, 115 (5): 903-9

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: The surgical correction of nostril stenosis and external nasal valve collapse typically involves the addition of tissue to widen and strengthen these areas. However, over the ensuing months, postoperative scar contracture may act to reverse the surgical modifications. This study aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of the use of nasal stents fashioned from a nasopharyngeal airway tube to prevent postoperative contracture at these sites.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective review of six patients who underwent functional rhinoplasty with alar batten graft placement for nasal valve collapse and one patient who underwent composite graft repair of unilateral nostril stenosis.

METHODS: Patients completed a survey inquiring about the ease of use, discomfort, presence of infection, and ability to breathe with these nasal stents. Patients also completed the NOSE (nasal obstruction symptom evaluation) instrument to compare their overall level of preoperative and postoperative nasal breathing. The functional rhinoplasty patients were examined for degree of dynamic airway nasal wall collapse and position of the lateral nasal wall on intranasal examination.

RESULTS: Six of seven patients overall reported no to minimal discomfort, easy application, and no to minimal obstruction of nasal breathing with the use of the stents. One patient reported difficulty with application. Preoperative NOSE scores averaged 67.1 (SD 10.4), 18.6 (SD 14.6) at the time of splint removal, and 21.4 (SD 15.2) at 3 months after stent removal. Paired t test analysis showed significant differences between the NOSE scores preoperatively as compared with the time of splint removal (P = .0002) or 3 months after splint removal (P = .0003). All patients demonstrated a significant reduction of lateral nasal wall collapse with inspiration on physical examination.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of nasal stents made from nasopharyngeal airway tubes is a safe, convenient, and economic treatment for the prevention of contracture after surgical correction of nostril stenosis or nasal valve insufficiency.

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