Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood, Essex is one of the first hospitals in the UK to offer this innovative treatment which provides a permanent solution to restoring the nasal airway.
Patients report significant breathing improvements. Sense of smell can improve and snoring may be reduced.
Which conditions does the Breathe-Implant treat?
- high and narrow nose
- unstable soft tissue after cosmetic nose re-shaping
- decreased stiffness of soft tissue of the nose in old age
- nasal valve collapse
- nasal obstruction
- need for better breathing in sports
Nasal valve collapse
The nasal valve is the area of the nose which is the smallest part of the nasal airway. The valve corresponds to the crease on each side of the nose, just above the nostril. If you breathe in very hard through one side of the nose, this portion of the nose will tend to collapse inward and will nearly close off the nasal airway. However, in a person with nasal valve collapse, the valve will close off with minimal effort.
Nasal valve collapse may be caused by a prior rhinoplasty (nose re-shaping operation). When the nose is made smaller, some of the supporting tissues of the nose may be removed, leading to collapse of the valve. Nasal valve collapse may also occur in people with a deviated septum and enlarged turbinates, or following an injury such as a broken nose.
About 40% of adults show a movement of their lateral nasal walls during forced inspiration. About one third of these patients have significant nasal valve collapse and might benefit from a Breathe-Implant.
About the Breathe-Implant
The Breathe-Implant was designed by Dr Daniel F. à Wengen, a Swiss surgeon and is manufactured in Germany. It has been in use across Europe since 2003 and was first performed in the UK by Mr George Fayad in 2009.
The Breathe-Implant works by holding open the nasal valve area. It is only 0.5mm thick and, when in place, it is camouflaged in the soft tissue of the nose and does not alter the visual shape of the nose. Breathe-Implant is a permanent solution. Other treatments, such Breathe-Right Strips placed on the skin of the nose, offer only temporary relief when worn.
During surgery the Breathe-Implant is positioned between two layers of cartilage. At Spire Hartswood Hospital, the surgery is performed under general anaesthetic with one night in hospital. An additional procedure to reduce the nasal turbinates may be performed at the same time.
Patients report a significant improvement of their breathing ability and this has been measured using a diagnostic technique called rhinomanometry. Other benefits may include reduced snoring and headaches, and an improved sense of smell.
A test you can do to find out if you may be suitable for a Breathe-Implant
You can try the “Cottle Test” for yourself at home. Pull outwards on the cheeks besides the lower nasal half to see if this improves your nasal air-flow. Another good test is to apply Breathe-Right Strips to dilate the lateral nasal walls. If you can breathe more easily by using these strips, you may be a good candidate for Breathe-Implant.