Nasopharyngeal stenting is a procedure to improve airflow in patients suffering from nasopharyngeal stenosis, a narrowing within the nasal cavity. Patients with nasopharyngeal stenosis have problems breathing due to scarring or malformation of the back of the nasal passages. This condition may occur following a severe infection or may be a complication of regurgitation while under anesthesia.

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Why it’s done

Your veterinarian may recommend nasopharyngeal stenting if your pet has:

  • Increased noise when breathing following recent anesthetic procedure
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Struggling to breath when eating or sleeping

How to prepare for your pet’s procedure

Before your pet’s procedure, you will meet with one of our specialists to talk about the procedure and what to expect.

When you meet with our team, please bring a list of all medications that your pet is currently taking, including over the counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Before your pet’s procedure, you may be asked to discontinue giving certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.

This is a good time to ask questions about the procedure and make sure you understand the risks and benefits.

Preoperative diagnostics and tests

Before your pet’s nasopharyngeal stenting the following may be indicated:

  • Comprehensive blood panel
  • Rhinoscopy
  • CT scan

General Instructions for the Day of Surgery

  • Give your pet nothing by mouth after midnight the night before. This means that all food and water should be withheld.
  • Please arrive for pet’s admission promptly at your scheduled arrival time.
  • You will be asked to sign both a Surgical Consent Form as well as an Estimate, indicating your understanding of the procedure, risks, and associated costs.

What happens during a nasopharyngeal stenting procedure?

Your pet will be given a general anesthetic. A combination of fluoroscopy and rhinoscopy will be used to visualize the location of the narrowing. Special instruments, including wires and balloons, are passed through the mouth or nostrils to widen the narrowed space and allow stent placement. The stent holds the narrowed area open allowing air to flow more freely.


Complications associated with nasopharyngeal stenting can include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Tissue ingrowth (polyps)
  • Excessive scar tissue development
  • Stent migration
  • Stent fracture

After the procedure

  • Following the procedure, you will be given a phone call with an update on your pet’s recovery. A scheduled discharge will be coordinated at that time.
  • Please remove the bandage from your pet’s intravenous catheter site 10 to 15 minutes after arriving home.
  • Many patients will not eat the night following anesthesia. If your pet has not eaten after 24 hours of returning home, please call Salt River.
  • Some patients will vomit or have diarrhea following anesthesia. If the vomiting or diarrhea persists more than 24 hours, please call Salt River. In contrast, some patients may be constipated or may not have a bowel movement for up to 72 hours following anesthesia. If your pet is straining to defecate after 72 hours, please call Salt River.
  • Nasal bleeding is common for 3-5 days after the procedure. If the bleeding does not stop or seems excessive, please call Salt River.
  • Many patients will sneeze more frequently and potentially more severely in the first 4-8 weeks after placement of the stent. In most patients, the sneezing improves as the tissue heals. Some patients may experience a permanent worsening of the sneezing episodes following the procedure for unforeseen reasons.

Follow up

A recheck examination is required 2-4 weeks following the procedure.