More than 20 million Americans suffer from nasal obstruction, which restricts breathing and impacts quality of life. Whether it’s caused by allergies, a deviated septum or swelling inside your nose, people need relief. Now a look at a new procedure, a dissolving nasal implant, called LATERA.
“When I would try to jog or run, I would not turn red, I would actually turn purple. It was just exhausting,” said Courtney Bade.
Bade had no stamina and wasn’t sleeping well so she sought help.
“He noticed that when I did breathe, the side of my nose would cave in,” she said.
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Structures inside in her nose blocked nasal passages, limiting her oxygen supply. The doctor recommended a new device.
“LATERA is an implant made out of polylactic acid: it’s dissolvable, and it’s a bioactive stimulator of collagen,” said Jose Barrera, MD, FACS, at the Texas Center for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery.
Which helps keep the airways open.
"Once it dissolves, which it will dissolve over two years, it leaves behind a little collagen track, which supports the sidewall,” Barrera said.
The implant surgery takes only 20 minutes, under local anesthesia, with a minimal recovery time of one week.
“They can actually resume normal activities the next day, no splints, no packing; they can breathe better right away,” said Barrera.
After about a month, Bade saw a marked improvement in her breathing. “I was actually able to jog. I didn’t turn different colors,” she said.
“If you feel during the daytime that you have nasal obstruction; you feel congested, you feel blocked; you feel like you can’t breathe out of one side compared to the other, then it’s time for an evaluation,” Barrera said.
“I did not know that I had a problem, but having it fixed is amazing,” Bade said.
The FDA approved the medical implant for use at the end of 2016. It is covered on a case-by-case basis by most health insurance companies.
Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Field Producer; Larry Burns, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.