What Surgery Is Available To Help Stop Snoring?

Snoring is a common problem that can have a negative impact on your health and quality of life. In most cases, it is harmless and eventually goes away on its own. However, if snoring persists and is severe, it may signify a more serious condition –severe obstructive sleep apnea, where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

This is usually caused by a blockage in the airway when the throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed during sleep.

During the initial stages of sleep apnea, most doctors could recommend less invasive treatment options like an anti-snoring mouthpiece device or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device therapy, among other options.

In some severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome cases, surgery may be recommended to help stop snoring. With multiple sleep apnea surgical options that take place in just a few hours, the idea of curing snoring with surgery is quite tempting and especially if the insurance will cover it?

This article will discuss the different surgical treatments that can be performed to treat obstructive sleep apnea, helping you get a good night's restful sleep and better quality of life.

Sleep apnea surgery to stop snoring

There are several different types of surgeries to treat snoring

But before surgery can be performed, doctors first have to determine which part of the airway is causing the obstruction that is leading to snoring.

You will have an in-office examination where a doctor will use an endoscopic camera to pinpoint exactly where the problem is. Consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist to see if you might be suitable for snoring surgery. He/she will be able to evaluate the physical make-up of your breathing passages and see whether snoring surgery might be the cure for your nightly woes.

Once the source of the obstruction has been identified, your doctor can recommend the best surgery option.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty(UPPP) is the most common type of surgery used to treat sleep-disordered breathing. It involves the removal of excess tissue in the back of the throat, including the uvula (the small, fleshy triangle at the back of your mouth) and part of the soft palate.

The uvula and soft palate are the two main areas where obstruction can occur. By removing this excess tissue, airflow increases, and snoring decreases.

UPPP is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours. The surgery involves making incisions in the back of your mouth and throat. Once the incisions have been made, the surgeon will remove the excess tissue.

After the surgery, you will likely have a sore throat and may have difficulty swallowing for a few days. You may also experience some numbness in your mouth and throat. These side effects should resolve within a week or two.

 

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery for snoring

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is another minimally invasive option for treating snoring. It involves the use of a laser to remove the excess tissue in the back of the throat.

LAUP is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes. The surgeon will make a small incision in your mouth and insert a thin probe into your throat. The probe will emit laser energy, which will remove the excess tissue.

After the surgery, you will likely have a sore throat and may have difficulty swallowing for a few days. You may also experience some numbness in your mouth and throat. These side effects should resolve within a week or two.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation (also known as somnoplasty) is a newer type of surgery that is less invasive than UPPP. It involves the use of heat to shrink the tissues in the back of the throat.

Somnoplasty is performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area. The surgeon will make a small incision in your mouth and insert a thin probe into your throat. The probe will emit radio waves, which will create heat. This heat will shrink the tissues in your throat, resulting in a wider airway.

RFA is less invasive than UPPP and has a shorter healing process. It has better results than LAUP and is a far less painful option for treating snoring and sleep deprivation.

Injection snoreplasty

Injection snoreplasty is a procedure that hardens the soft tissues that vibrate to produce the snoring sound by injecting sodium tetradecyl sulfate to the roof of the mouth, just in front of the uvula.

This creates a blister that eventually hardens into scar tissue that pulls the uvula forward, reducing the chances of obstructing the airway. Injection snoreplasty has had good results and is less painful than LAUP.

The ReposeTM system

One of the common causes of snoring and severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is rear tongue obstruction. Rear tongue obstruction is characterized by the tongue dropping backward during sleep, which causes chronic snoring and may exacerbate sleep deprivation.

The ReposeTM system, also known as hyoid suspension, is a tongue suspension procedure where a screw is inserted into the hyoid bone. The procedure is one of the most effective for sleep apnea caused by tongue obstruction.

During the procedure, the tongue is attached to the screw with a suture, thus preventing it from falling back into the throat while sleeping.

Pillar procedure (palatal implant)

The Pillar Procedure is a simple, quick technique that you can have done in just one visit. It's perfect for patients looking to get back on track with their lives as soon as possible after having undergone surgery!

The pillar procedure is a minimally invasive option for treating snoring. It involves the placement of small implants in the soft palate. The palatal implants will help support the soft palate and keep it from collapsing.

it is performed under local anesthesia and takes under an hour.

After the surgery, you may have a sore throat for a few days. You may also experience some numbness in your mouth and throat. These side effects should resolve within a week or two.

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS) is a surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is also known as upper airway stimulation. The hypoglossal nerve controls the muscles of the tongue. A sleep study done by the sleep foundation indicates that over 68% of sleepers who received an HGNS implant experienced a significant decrease in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Unlike other neck surgeries, hypoglossal nerve stimulation is minimally invasive. It requires no major cuts, permanent removal, or alteration of airway tissues.

The surgery is done by placing a small device called a neurostimulator next to the hypoglossal nerve, which is anatomically located for convenient surgical access. The neurostimulator sends electrical signals to the nerve that tell the tongue muscles to move. This action helps keep the airway open during sleep.

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation works by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve in a rhythm synchronized with the patient’s breathing and sleep patterns. The upper airway stimulation helps reduce snoring and can help cure sleep apnea in combination with other treatments.

HGNS is a relatively new surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. It is most often used when other treatments, such as CPAP and weight loss, have not been successful. HNS is considered a safe and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA)

Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) is a surgical procedure to correct snoring and sleep apnea. It is also known as a maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO). The surgery involves repositioning the upper and lower jaw and moving them forward. This procedure also suspends the attached pharyngeal airway muscles in an anterior position. It increases the pharyngeal soft tissue tension, thereby affecting all airway levels, from the nasal cavity to the hypopharynx.

This in turn helps to open up the airway and improve breathing. MMA is typically performed in two stages. The first stage is called Le Fort I osteotomy, which involves cutting the bones of the upper jaw.

The second stage is called Binder's procedure, which involves cutting the bones of the lower jaw. MMA is usually only recommended for people who snore ornhave sleep apnea that cannot be treated with other methods. It can also help people with nasal obstruction and chronic snoring. MMA is a serious surgery and can have potential risks, so it should only be considered if other options have failed.

Septoplasty and turbinate reduction

Septoplasty

Septoplasty is a type of nasal surgery procedure to correct a deviated septum (a septum is the bone and cartilage that divide your nostrils).

A deviated septum is when the septum is crooked or off-center. This can cause difficulty breathing, as well as snoring. Septoplasty straightens the septum to improve breathing. It is often done in conjunction with other procedures, such as turbinate reduction or sinus surgery.

Septoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the nostril and then gently move the septum into its correct position. The incision will be closed with stitches. Septoplasty is a relatively safe procedure with a low risk of complications. The most common complication is a nosebleed.

Turbinate reduction

Turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the turbinates. Turbinates are bony structures in the nose that help filter air and keep the nasal passages moist. They can become enlarged or inflamed, which can block airflow and cause difficulty breathing. The turbinate reduction can improve airflow and reduce snoring.

Both septoplasty and turbinate reduction are made through the nostrils, so there are no external scars. These procedures can be done together or separately, depending on the individual's needs. Septoplasty and turbinate reduction are usually effective in improving breathing, reducing snoring, and curing obstructive sleep apnea.

Other nasal surgery procedures include;

  • Rhinoplasty - This is a cosmetic procedure to change the shape of the nose by either increasing or reducing the nose's size to correct severe obstructive sleep apnea. The procedure can also include narrowing the span of the nostrils, changing the tip or bridge of the nose, and changing the angle between the nose and upper lip.

  • Rhinosseptoplasty - This procedure is done when the septal deviation is more complex or when there is a need to correct an associated deformity on the external nasal portion or nasal valve

Lingual tonsillectomy

This procedure is done when the tonsils are enlarged and are blocking the airway. It involves the removal of the part of the lingual tonsil. This increases the airway behind the tongue and improves airflow. This procedure is usually effective in improving breathing and reducing snoring. The procedure does not involve an external incision and is typically done as an outpatient procedure.

Verdict

Snoring surgery is a safe and effective way to treat snoring. However, it is important to consult with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for surgery.

Whatever surgery for snoring you choose, learn as much about it as possible before undergoing treatment. Try to find others who have had the same type of surgery to stop snoring, and ask them about their experience. Surgery for snoring can work but do become fully educated about the procedures, the risks, and possible long-term side effects. You can also opt for a non-surgical anti-snoring device if still in doubt.

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