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External nasal valve collapse repair: The limited alar–facial stab approach


  • A part of this study was presented as a poster entitled: “A Review of a Simple Procedure to Correct External Nasal Valve Collapse” at the Annual Program Triological Society, Orlando, Florida, May 1–4 2008.

    The authors have no financial disclosures for this article.

    The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.



Permanent treatment for external nasal valve collapse (ENCV) is primarily surgical. In some situations, instead of a major operation, the placement of structural alar rim graft may be all that is needed. Alar rim graft placement is usually achieved through a marginal incision as a part of a rhinoplasty. We compared the aesthetic and functional outcomes of a simple technique in which the graft is placed via an external incision in the alar–facial groove with the outcomes of the more commonly used method.


All patients who underwent ENCV repair in 2007 and 2008 were reviewed. Fifteen cases in which grafts were placed using the alar–facial stab technique were identified. Twenty cases with marginal incision graft placement in that time period were then randomly selected. All of the patients underwent concurrent additional procedures such as rhinoplasty/septorhinoplasty. The aesthetic and functional assessments of both techniques were explored by means of blinded observers rating the aesthetic outcome and patients rating their functional outcome through the use of questionnaires.

Study Design:

A retrospective cohort study.


A comparison between the patients' subjective results showed no difference between the outcomes of these two techniques (P > .05). The blinded surgeon evaluators could not differentiate between the different approaches utilized in the vast majority of cases studied.


The alar–facial stab incision with alar rim grafting for treatment of ENCV is a very simple and effective technique that does not require significant rhinoplasty experience and may be performed in the office under local anesthesia. Laryngoscope, 2011