Medical Breakthroughs: Dissolving nasal implant

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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.

Bade continued, “He noticed that when I did breathe, the side of my nose would cave in.”

Structures inside in her nose blocked nasal passages, limiting her oxygen supply. The doctor recommended a new device.

Jose Barrera, MD, FACS, at the Texas Center for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery said, “LATERA is an implant made out of polylactic acid: it’s dissolvable, and it’s a bioactive stimulator of collagen.”

Which helps keep the airways open.

Dr. Barrera shared, “and then, once it dissolves, which it will dissolve over two years, it leaves behind a little collagen track, which supports the sidewall.”

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 Dr. Barrera.

After about a month, Bade saw a marked improvement in her breathing.

She said, “I was actually able to jog. I didn’t turn different colors.”

Dr. Barrera advised, “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.”

“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.

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