6 Things to Expect During and After Nasal Valve Surgery

Nasal Valve Surgery

When people think about getting surgery for their nose, it is typically assumed to be for aesthetic alterations. However, some nasal surgeries aim to enhance the quality of your respiratory functions. One such procedure is that of the nasal valve surgery. This blog is dedicated to help you understand what it is, and what happens during and after the process. 

Nasal Valve Surgery

As the name implies, a nasal valve surgery aims to improve the strength, funtioning and shape of the nasal valves. These valves are the passages inside the nostril from where the airflow is regulated. In some instances, they may get weak, displaced or crooked. The surgery aims to identify and heal these obstructions to restore the nasal functions. 

There are various instances where this surgery may be a suitable cure. People with a deviated septum may benefit from collapsed nasal valve surgery by getting a widened nasal passage. It can also strengthen the nasal valve, further enhancing their functioning. In certain cases, it may also be a tool to manage sleep apnea. Your doctor will examine your condition’s severity before suggesting you a surgical cure.

Preparing for Surgery

As collapsed nasal valve surgery is highly delicate, one must thoroughly prepare before undergoing the procedure. Your doctor will walk you through all the necessary steps based on your unique medical history, as certain ailments and conditions may alter the course of your treatment. You may expect some general instructions.

  • Let your surgeon know about your medication or pre-existing illnesses, if any. They may suggest you discontinue or substitute some medications for a while.
  • Cut down the intake of substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • Get plenty of rest to relax your body before it undergoes a complex surgery.
  • Manage your diet and ensure you consume nutrient-rich foods and drink sufficient water.
  • Avoid using makeup and face creams for a short period before the surgery, as they increase the chance of infections before surgery.

During Surgery

Nasal valve surgery is a relatively straightforward procedure that can take about up to half an hour. The procedure entails the following steps.


This type of nasal surgery can be performed under general or local anaesthesia, depending upon your condition. This formative step ensures a pain-free surgery without causing any additional discomfort. 

Reshaping the Nasal Valve

This is a crucial step that aims to find the purpose of your surgery. The surgeon will examine the nasal passage to determine where the valve needs fixing and pick a suitable technique. 


Depending on the technique of your procedure, the surgeon may make an external or internal incision. The external approach involves a more severe scar that may require a longer healing period. 


This is the defining step of a nasal valve procedure. Grafting is when tissue is taken from one part of the body and transplanted into another part. In a nasal valve procedure, cartilage is extracted from the operated nasal area (if the surgery is in conjunction with another major nose surgery) or from the ear to improve the current structure of your airway passage. 


After the completion of your surgical procedure, the doctor will close up all the incisions. This keeps your alterations in place and protects your nose from further damage.


You will be kept under medical supervision for at least 24 hours after your surgery to assess your immediate post-op condition. Doing this helps in the timely management of any surgical complications or reactions.

After Surgery 

A well-defined aftercare routine can make or break the success of your surgery. By following the given recovery steps, you can see the maximum results of your procedure and ensure a comprehensive recovery for yourself.

Pain and Discomfort 

Swelling, pain and mild discomfort after surgery are expected. However, it begins to subside 36-72 hours after the procedure. Based on the intensity of the pain, your doctor might suggest a few relief measures to make you more comfortable, such as:

  • Prescribed medication
  • Cold compresses
  • Keeping your head raised/elevated 
  • Increase the intake of fluids 

Ice Packs 

In addition to the nose, you may also observe swelling around your lips, cheeks and eyes. This typically happens due to the anaesthesia. Using ice packs is the fastest and most convenient way to relieve it. Make sure you don’t press the packs too hard against your nose, and hygienically store them. 

Nasal Sprays and Irrigation 

Maintaining nasal hygiene is essential to uphold the quality of recovery. However, blowing your nose to clean it isn't advisable, as it may cause disruptions. Instead, use a saline nasal spray to rinse any debris or buildup inside the nose. 

Activity Restrictions 

Since your body is still delicate after surgery, it is crucial to steer clear of physical activities that may cause disruptions in your recovery. Doctors typically recommend laying off certain activities for a few weeks after surgery, including:

  • Gymming 
  • Cardio 
  • Running
  • Lifting weights 
  • Swimming or any water sports
  • Going to work 
  • Operating heavy machinery 

Follow-up Appointments

Be regular at showing up for your post-op appointments, as this helps your doctor keep track of your progress. Listen to their recommendations and tips, which will give you a speedy healing process. 

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What is nasal valve surgery, and who is it for?

A nasal valve surgery surgery reshapes and strengthens the nostril structure. It restructures crooked nostrils and widens nasal airways to improve the quality of your breathing. It can be a viable option to restore regular breathing functioning for people with issues like deviated septum, chronic congestion, collapse of nasal valve or recurrent obstructions in nasal area. 

What medications should be avoided or adjusted before surgery?

Your surgeon will examine your medical history before suggesting the medications to avoid. However, some general restrictions recommended by all doctors include the following.

  • Aspirin 
  • Ibuprofen 
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs 
  • Herbal supplements 
  • Diabetic medication 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

What activity limitations are important to observe during the recovery period?

You must limit the following activities to have a holistic recovery from nasal surgery.

  • Going to work
  • Cardio
  • Lifting weights 
  • Swimming or any water activity 
  • Any strenuous activity that makes you sweat or increases your heart rate

Your doctor will decide the duration of the restriction.

What are some tips for managing pain after nasal valve surgery?

Some pain after a surgical procedure is inevitable. However, you can use certain tips to minimize the sensations. 

  • Follow all post-op care tips given by your surgeon 
  • Be regular at follow-up appointments 
  • Maintain nasal hygiene with the help of saline spray 
  • Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration
  • Take the necessary prescribed medication 
  • Get sufficient rest