Cosmetic Surgery Videos

Michael Jackson: internal nasal valve collapse and breathing problems

Procedure Rhinoplasty
Length of video 4:32

In this video, to present a cautionary tale for those seeking perfection from their cosmetic surgery results, I discuss how rhinoplasty can become an uneasy marriage between beauty and oxygen supply by looking at Michael Jackson's changing appearance and breathing problems.

While some talk of a rare lung condition circulated for a time, I think the more obvious explanation, as many people have said, is that his nose 'collapsed' after too many surgeries. More specifically, that he suffered from internal nasal valve collapse in his pursuit of the 'perfect' nose.

Using charts, diagrams, photos, and video clips I illustrate how the supporting structures of the nose work and what it means to have a 'collapsed nose.' In Michael Jackson's case, the septum may have been affected, but it did not collapse. If anything, his septum looks too straight, too thin, and too high for an African American. What I really think happened in his case is called internal nasal valve collapse.

The lower lateral cartilage has a curved shape to keep the nostril open and when you thin it too much, it can buckle at the tip where the lower lateral cartilage and the upper lateral cartilage meet the septum. This acts like a valve and when it buckles, it is hard for air to go through. As you try to breathe harder, it collapses even more.

Michael Jackson likely had years of breathing problems due to internal nasal valve collapse which, for a singer, creates even more complications as it forces you to breathe through your mouth and can cause chronic irritation of the throat and lungs. Patients should take heed that perfection can be a dangerous pursuit in plastic surgery.

Call +1-410-494-8100 or contact us to set up an appointment.


Transcript

Hi. My name is Ricardo Rodriguez from CosmeticSurg.net. Isn't it heartbreaking to listen to the pure voice of Michael Jackson as a child?

You know, by the end of his life, he could barely sing and some rumors have it that it was because he couldn't breathe right. Someone even speculated that he had a rare lung condition. I think the answer is more obvious. His nose, as many people have said, had collapsed after too many surgeries.

Well, how does the nose collapse? What does the word collapsed nose mean?

Look at the picture on the upper left. The supporting structures of the main body of the nose are the septum cartilage and the nasal bones. The supporting structures of the nostrils, where the air comes in, are the septum and the lower lateral cartilages. The supporting framework of the nose, when viewed from below, is shaped like a triangle - seen as a light blue shaded triangle on the upper left-hand corner picture. In the center illustration, you see the septum in white, and the supporting lateral cartilages in blue.

When the septum collapses, whether it be from disease or accident, the skin of the nose and the lateral cartilages collapse as well. The nose, viewed from the side, is hollowed out in the middle - like a saddle - and that's why it's called a saddle nose deformity. The patient on the upper right-hand corner has had the entire septum collapse. This patient had leprosy. The patient on the lower right just has had part of the septum collapse, and it does look like a saddle.

In Michael Jackson's case, the septum may have been affected, but it did not collapse. He did not have a saddle nose deformity. If anything, his septum looks too straight, too thin, and too high for an African-American. Maybe a graft was used to support the nose, but I would be guessing if I said so.

What I really think happened in Michael Jackson's case is called internal nasal valve collapse.

The lower lateral cartilage has a curved shape to keep the nostril open; and when you thin it too much, it can buckle at the tip where the lower lateral cartilage and the upper lateral cartilage meet the septum. This acts like a valve and when it buckles, it is hard for air to go through; and, as you try to breathe harder, it collapses even more.

In this film you can see how the nostril collapses when the patient tries to breathe in. That is because as air travels faster, the pressure inside the nostril is reduced relative to the outside and the nostril wall is sucked in.

Michael Jackson had internal nasal valve collapse. For a singer, this creates real problems. It forces you to be a mouth breather. The air doesn't get properly warmed and moisturized and this can lead to chronic irritation of the throat and lungs.

As you can see in this series of photos, looking for a perfect nose, Michael ended up with a scarred nose that interfered with his artistic obligations. There's an old saying that plastic surgery is the uneasy marriage between beauty and oxygen supply. In the end, Michael Jackson got neither - and that is a cautionary tale for those who want perfection in their surgical results.

Thank you for listening.


Call +1-410-494-8100 or contact us to set up an appointment.