Snoring Surgery – Pros and Cons

If your snoring is very extreme, you might be considering snoring surgery. There are a few surgical procedures that claim to cure snoring. These include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, radiofrequency palatoplasty and The Pillar Procedure. Let’s take a look at these options for snoring surgery and their various pros and cons.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

One surgical procedure that those who snore may consider is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This procedure is designed to remove tissue in the back of the throat to widen the airways. The theory is that if the throat is wider, the airflow will be less constricted and snoring will not occur. Keep in mind that the uvula and pharynx are also removed during this procedure. This process is often done with the assistance of lasers.

There are some definite cons when it comes to an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. For example, once tissue has been removed, it is possible for scar tissue to form. If this occurs, the throat could become even more constricted than it was initially. It is important to note that some patients have actually seen their snoring get worse after this procedure.

Another negative aspect about uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is that it can take 3 weeks or more to recover from the procedure. During this time period, you may have trouble swallowing. Further, it is important to note that while the success rate is high initially, as time goes by, this snoring surgery only turns out to be a permanent cure for approximately 50%-75% of people.

Radiofrequency Palatoplasty

Radiofrequency Palatoplasty

Radiofrequency Palatoplasty is a newer medical procedure designed to stop snoring. This technique involves using an electrical current to stiffen the soft palate and uvula. The philosophy behind this snoring surgery is that the soft palate and uvula are less likely to vibrate if a person snores.

The good news is that this procedure does not cause much pain as surgical alternatives. Many people find that taking medicine like advil will get rid of the pain resulting after the operation. Also the procedure can be done fairly quickly in the doctor’s office.

On the negative side, however, radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new surgery. Therefore, the potential long-term effects are not yet known. Also, of course, the medical community doesn’t yet know if this procedure permanently will assist to stop snoring.

The Pillar Procedure

Pillar Procedure

The Pillar Procedure was developed in 2004. While it is still a snoring surgery, it is definitely less invasive. During this surgery, suture strips are inserted into the soft palate. A doctor will use some local anesthetic, so the person usually doesn’t need to go completely “under.” Usually at least 3 of these dacrons will be inserted.

On the positive side, most people find the Pillar Procedure to be very painless. The end result of this snoring surgery is that a person’s soft palate can be more rigid, reducing both snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. The Pillar Procedure will only really work if a person’s snoring is due to his or her soft palate. If it is due to a blockage of the nasal airway, for example, this procedure will not be as successful.

Tonsillectomy

tonsillectomy recovery

In the case of children who have sleep apnea, a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is often given. In this case of this surgery, the enlarged tonsils or adenoids are removed. This procedure is virtually never used with adults. Keep in mind that a tonsillectomy is really only given to cure sleep apnea and rarely for just snoring.

This form of snoring surgery does have a high success rate. Not only can it cure sleep apnea, but also snoring, coughing and colds. However, a child’s throat will be sore after the procedure. This surgery can also lead to infections on some occasions.

In general, snoring surgery should only be used when other treatments have failed. There are a wide variety of natural treatments and anti-snoring devices that can be tried first. However, if nothing works for you and you are determined to get to the bottom of your snoring, it is important to realize that snoring surgery is indeed an option.