A Guide to Snoring Surgery
Snoring is a sound created because of vibration of the soft tissues in the upper respiratory tract during sleep. Snoring is most often heard during inhalation but sometimes exhalation is accompanied by snoring. Almost anyone can experience occasional snoring, and some people snore regularly.
The main symptom is of course snoring, but you ENT will usually ask for more information: Do you have symptoms of sleep apnea, such as events of cessation of breathing followed by a loud snoring, do you experience restless sleep, wakefulness filled with a feeling of suffocation, increased drowsiness during the day or experience morning headaches, from concentration disorders or even poor mood?
If this is something that has been a hindrance to your lifestyle, there are certain surgeries that you can undergo in order to alleviate the issue; usually if the issue is creating unrest. An ENT would be able to assist you further in making the best decision.
What options are available to me?
Your ENT will be able to assist you in the types of snoring surgery available. Your ENT will be able to find out how your snoring has originated and if you have any sleep apnea which should be detailed immediately. Here are some types of surgery available:
The first type of snoring surgery focuses on hardening the upper back of the palate, to prevent it from vibrating while passing air, while sleeping. This type includes two main techniques:
A light surgical procedure also known as a palatal implant, during which tiny polyester rods are implanted in the soft part of the upper palate. When the tissue around them heals, the palate hardens and does not respond with vibration to the passage of air.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) in radio waves or lasers
UPPP is a surgical procedure in which part of the soft tissue is removed in the back and upper part of the throat. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, it does not involve bleeding but it can cause side effects such as difficulty swallowing, changes in voice and a feeling of discomfort in the throat.
The soft tissue is removed using radio wave energy (RF) or using a laser that heats and contracts it prior to removal. This method is suitable for treating snoring but does not help in cases of obstructive sleep apnea, and in some cases, it will be necessary to repeat it several times until the desired result is obtained.
Remove of problematic tonsils
When the tonsils or a third tonsil block the trachea, the problem can be solved by surgery to remove them. Similarly, when the cause of snoring is nasal polyps, the solution is polyp removal surgery which is also done in an operating room and requires full anesthesia.
This type of snoring surgery is recommended in cases where the cause of the problem is a physical deformity in the structure of the nose. The procedure involves aligning the tissue and bones in the center of the nose while reducing the volume of internal tissue inside the nose that helps to moisten and warm the incoming air. These two operations, which are usually performed in the recipient, in one operation, help both to open the airways inside the nose and to facilitate the breathing process.
Are you considering having surgery to stop snoring? You should be well aware of the risks, which your ENT will speak to you about, and also offer you the possible benefits and success. Be sure to find out today, if surgery could be the best option for you.