The study sought to identify a new method for measuring internal nasal valve patency.
To determine whether intraoperative endoscopic suction–assisted evaluation of the internal nasal valve is a useful technique to assess internal nasal valve area and function.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A study of 20 patients undergoing cosmetic and functional septorhinoplasty from May 1 through October 31, 2012, at a private surgical practice was performed. A follow-up study was performed 3 years postoperatively on 7 patients. A photograph of the internal nasal valve was taken endoscopically with and without suction preoperatively, postoperatively, and at 3-year follow-up. Measurement of the internal nasal valve surface areas was then performed by an evaluator masked to patient groupings.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Outcome measures were surface area of the internal nasal valve as measured by standardized, endoscopic photography preoperatively, postoperatively, and at 3 years with and without suction and Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) scale scores at 3 years comparing preoperative and postoperative symptoms.
Among the 20 patients studied, 13 were female and the mean age was 26 years. No difference was found in the observed static surface area of the internal nasal valve comparing preoperative and postoperative values (72 418 vs 76 973 square pixels, P = .58). No difference was found in the observed static surface area of the internal nasal valve comparing preoperative (56 426 square pixels) and postoperative (60 011 square pixels) values (P = .58). No difference was found in the observed surface area of the internal nasal valve under negative pressure comparing preoperative (54 194 square pixels) and immediate postoperative (58 325 square pixels) values (P = .97). At 3 years, the resting surface area of the internal nasal valve was not increased with an internal nasal valve surface area mean of 56 426 square pixels preoperatively and 84 352 postoperatively (P = .09). The surface area of the internal nasal valve was increased when exposed to negative sniff pressures in the 3-year follow-up by 45% (P = .03). The surface area measured a mean of 47 683 square pixels preoperatively and 85 612 square pixels at the 3-year mark under negative pressure.
Conclusions and Relevance
The study outlines a novel technique for measuring internal nasal valve surface area and compliance preoperatively and postoperatively. Surgery on the internal nasal valve has a greater effect on the dynamic function of the internal nasal valve (ie, stiffness that can be accounted for by a mere increase in nasal valve size when measured endoscopically). The study lays the groundwork for future studies using this technique.
Level of Evidence