Use of Spreader Flaps Without Dorsal Hump Reduction and the Effect on Nasal Function

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Internal nasal valve (INV) collapse is a common cause of nasal obstruction, and spreader grafts are the established standard of treatment. Recently, spreader flaps have gained attention in the treatment of nasal valve stenosis when performed in conjunction with dorsal hump reduction. To date, the efficacy of the spreader flap technique without dorsal hump reduction has not been previously described.


To determine whether spreader flaps are equivalent to spreader grafts in correcting INV collapse in the absence of simultaneous dorsal hump reduction.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This retrospective medical record review included 26 patients with nasal obstruction and INV collapse who underwent correction with spreader flaps or spreader grafts concurrently with septoplasty and inferior turbinate reduction but without dorsal hump reduction. The type of graft placed was based on surgeon preference and patient anatomy. Patients were treated at a tertiary academic medical center from September 1, 2012, through August 31, 2014, and had follow-up of at least 6 months. Follow-up was completed for this study on August 12, 2016.

Main Outcomes and Measures

All patients completed the Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) questionnaire preoperatively and at 1, 3, and 6 months postoperatively. The latest postoperative NOSE score was compared with the preoperative score.


Among the 26 patients included (12 men and 14 women; mean age, 38.4 years [range, 18-64 years]), 13 underwent spreader flap placement and 13 underwent spreader graft placement. No difference was found between patient demographic characteristics or mean (SD) preoperative NOSE score (spreader flap group, 81.9 [15.8]; range, 72.4-91.4; spreader graft group, 75.4 [19.3]; range, 63.7-87.1) between groups. In addition, no difference was found in mean (SD) postoperative NOSE score (spreader flap group, 18.5 [21.6]; range, 5.4-31.5; spreader graft group, 16.9 [16.4]; range, 7.0-26.8), total NOSE score improvement (spreader flap group, 63.5 [23.5]; range, 49.3-77.7; spreader graft group, 58.5 [27.8]; range, 41.7-75.3), or percentage of improvement in NOSE score (spreader flap group, 78.0% [23.8%]; range, 63.6%-92.4%; spreader graft group, 76.02% [26.31%]; range, 60.1%-91.9%) between groups.

Conclusions and Relevance

In appropriately selected patients, spreader flaps are equivalent to spreader grafts in correcting nasal obstruction secondary to INV collapse.

Level of Evidence


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