VivAer — Treatment for Chronic Nasal Obstruction
If you have restricted nasal passages, it can feel as if you’re continually congested and that nasal passages are either blocked or seriously obstructed. Treating these conditions usually involved home remedies such as breathing strips and nasal sprays. When those didn’t provide much help, nasal surgery was typically the next step.
At The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas, we now offer our patients from across the Dallas area a different option. It’s called VivAer®, a non-invasive, painless treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to remodel and reshape the interior of your nose to open the airflow. We’re excited about this new option for our patients suffering from chronic nasal obstruction.
What is VivAer®?
VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling is a new cutting-edge technology that targets the nasal valve on each side of your nose. VivAer® uses radiofrequency energy delivered through a small handpiece to remodel and reshape the cartilage and tissues of the nasal valve. By reshaping the nasal valve, this opens airflow through the nose, improving breathing and overall health.
What is the nasal valve?
In our nose, there are two nasal valves, one on each side of the nose. The nasal valve is a triangular-shaped area within your nasal passage that consists of a narrow ridge of cartilage protruding from the side wall (lateral) of your nose, the septum on the inside of your nose, and the inferior turbinate on the bottom of the nose.
These areas work together to provide a gateway for air to enter the nose. When they are normal, airflow is funneled through the nasal valve into the nasal cavity. In the nasal cavity long, finger-like structures called turbinates filter, condition, and regulate air flow to manage respiration. When any or all of the structures in the nasal valve become larger, airflow is restricted, and the person feels perpetually congested.
How does VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling work?
For these procedures our ENT doctors first numb the inside of your nose with local anesthetic. Then the small hand-held stylus of the VivAer® system is inserted into the nose. The stylus delivers controlled, low-temperature radiofrequency energy directly to the tissues of the nasal valve area. The tip of the VivAer® stylus gently reshapes the tissues of the collapsed nasal valve, decreasing their size and creating more room inside your nose. The VivAer® stylus can also be advanced past the nasal valve to help shrink the turbinates, which often become swollen with most cases of allergies.
During the VivAer® procedure the patient may feel some pressure, but there isn’t any pain or other unpleasant sensations.
What are the advantages of the VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling system?
At The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas, we’re excited to offer this FDA-approved treatment for our patients suffering from nasal obstruction. It delivers some excellent benefits. VivAer® is…
- Painless and non-invasive — There is no cutting of tissue, which spares the nearby tissues, including the mucosal lining.
- Simple and easy procedure — These simple, outpatient procedures take only about 15 minutes.
- Preserves the external appearance of the nose — Because no tissue is removed, the outer appearance of the nose doesn’t change in any way.
- Clinically proven — Prior to receiving FDA approval, Aerin Medical (the maker of VivAer®) conducted clinical studies on the treatment. In these studies, 97 percent of patients reported dramatic improvement in breathing after one month. These results continued to improve in three months with results lasting up to 24 months. Sleep improved, with 89 percent of research patients reporting getting a better night’s sleep. Exercise airflow improved, with 94 percent of patients reporting improved ability to get enough air through their nose during exercise or exertion.
What are the patient benefits provided by VivAer®?
- Durably and gently reforms the soft tissue, including cartilage, in the nasal valve
- Increases the radius of the nasal valve, opening airflow
- Shrinks the submucosal tissue of the inferior turbinate
- Reduces soft tissue obstruction on the septum
- Is a simple outpatient procedure
- Doesn’t require any downtime
How long does VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling take?
These treatments take just 15 minutes at our four ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas locations.
How long will my results from VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling last?
Because VivAer® is a relatively new treatment, only receiving FDA approval in 2018, there aren’t long-term studies of result duration. At this point, results seem to last for at least two years. We believe they can last far longer, and may be permanent, but time will tell. Still, for patients suffering from chronic nasal obstruction and congestion, two years of improvement is a welcome start.
Is there any preparation or recovery with VivAer®?
There isn’t any preparation for these treatments. Recovery is not required. You can get right back to your normal activities after leaving our ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas offices.
How do I know if VivAer® Nasal Airway Remodeling is right for me?
There is a quick way you can see if VivAer® would work for you. Try the Cottle’s Maneuver. This is how you do it:
- Step 1 — Place two fingertips on your cheeks, on each side of your nose.
- Step 2 — Gently press and pull outward to further open your nasal passage. While holding this position, now breathe through your nose.
If this improves your breathing, odds are VivAer® would be a great treatment for you. This is only a simple test; the best way to see if you’re a good candidate is to come see us at The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas.