For those plagued by snoring, surgery may seem like a rather extreme solution. But sometimes the idea of curing snoring with surgery is quite tempting. Why not find a cure for snoring that take no more than the cut of a knife and a few days of discomfort, especially if the insurance will cover it?
There are several different types of surgeries to stop snoring. To see if you might be suitable for snoring surgery, consult an ear, nose and throat specialist. This doctor 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.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is the oldest and most invasive of the surgeries available for the treatment of snoring. In UPPP the surgeon removes the tonsils, the uvula, and a portion of the soft palate. The surgery must be performed under general anesthesia, and has a longer recovery time than many other snoring surgeries. The results of UPPP are mixed, with many patients experiencing a month-long recovery time, and only a partial reduction of snoring, and finding that the long-term side-effects of the surgery are not worth the improvements that they experience.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) uses a carbon dioxide laser to remove a portion of the uvula. It can be performed with the patient awake, but takes several sessions to complete the procedure. Unfortunately LAUP again has mixed success, and many patients have complained of pain for a week or more after treatment.
Somnoplasty is a less invasive procedure that uses a needle and radio frequency signals to shrink the tissue in the tongue, soft palate, and throat. The inner tissues of the treated area are heated so that they are destroyed and reabsorbed into the body. The outer tissues remain unharmed, but become stiffer after treatment. Somnoplasty has better results than LAUP, and is far less painful.
The ReposeTM system is a tongue suspension procedure where a screw is inserted into the lower jaw. The tongue is then attached to the screw with a suture, thus preventing the tongue from falling back into the throat while sleeping. The procedure require full anesthesia, but is fully reversible. It can also be used alongside other snoring surgeries.
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 it obstructing the airway. Injection snoreplasty has had good results, and is less painful than LAUP.
Whatever surgery for snoring you choose, be sure to 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.
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