For those who suffer from snoring, they are constantly looking for alternative methods to eliminate or alleviate the problem. The uvula and soft palate vibrate during sleep causing the sometimes very loud and disturbing sounds of snoring.
What is the Uvula And How Does It Contribute to Snoring
The uvula is a large tissue that is visible at the back of your mouth or pharynx as it dangles downward, while the soft palate is the back of the roof of your mouth. When you are awake your muscles in the back of your throat keep the soft palate and the uvula where they are supposed to be so that they are not causing vibrations in the airways.
What is a Somnoplasty and Does It Stop Snoring?
A somnoplasty is a surgical procedure that uses low levels of radio frequency heat energy to produce burn areas beneath the lining of the soft tissues of the throat. The intent is to widen the air passage by shrinking the tissue that has been burned and that is absorbed by the body. The actual procedure takes approximately thirty minutes and is done on an outpatient basis.
You will sit upright and be awake during the entire process. You will be given an oral spray to anesthetize the area followed with several small injections into the roof of the mouth. This may cause some discomfort. The physician will then use the device and a small electrode will be placed in the soft palate. This is where the radio frequency will be generated in the back of the roof of the mouth.
Is a Somnoplasty Effective For Snoring?
It is felt that approximately eight percent of patients have a signification reduction in their snoring or sleep apnea after a somnoplasty. Anyone anticipating this surgery should consult a qualified physician and determine if it is the right procedure for you. There have been complications reported to this procedure that include pain and infection or thermal injury to the mucus membrane and others.