Your physician has prescribed a Nasal Expansion Stent to help alleviate your symptoms of nasal airway constriction. This custom-made appliance is sometimes used instead of, or in addition to, surgery. A nasal stent is a custom-made tube that fits the inside of your nostril exactly, and holds it in a slightly expanded position in the “valve” area.
The purpose of the nasal stent is to attempt to reshape the outer nasal passage over a period of months. After that time, which varies from individual to individual, the stent may be removed for a period of time each day or night, and the nasal passage may remain expanded part of the time. Patience is important on your part, as reshaping tissue takes time, and may not be 100% effective in all wearers. Reshaping the nasal valve area may be compared to retainers worn after braces are removed. Retainers must often stay in place for at least 6-13 months to prevent teeth from drifting back into their original position.
A feeling of fullness in the nose is normal initially, and you may feel like removing the stent, but the stent must remain in place 24 hours per day to be effective. While the stent is in place, breathing may not be improved. It may be even more difficult due to the necessary thickness of the walls of the stent. This is normal. Remember, the purpose of the stent is to expand the tissues and make more space for when it is eventually removed. In addition, you may notice a feeling of looseness after wearing the stent a few days, showing that the tissues are already stretching. The stent may irritate the nose for some time after placement, causing the nose to “run”. This is common and usually subsides within a week or two. If you have a cold, you may not be able to wear the stent while your nose is “running”.
Remove the stent once or twice daily and clean with a dedicated soft nylon toothbrush, with some ordinary soap on the moistened bristles. Mucous accumulations inside the stent can be cleaned with a disposable pipe cleaner, moistened, and rubbed on soap. The stent should be rinsed well and replaced.
It is extremely important that you follow all written and verbal instructions and keep all your follow-up appointments with this office and with your physician’s office. Your follow-up appointments will have a set schedule such as 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. It is only through your cooperation that progress can occur, and be monitored. We will keep your physician informed of your progress and refer you back to his or her office at the appropriate time for a follow-up examination.
Your follow-up appointments are very important!