Snoring may indicate the presence of a more serious health issue, and is sometimes linked to chest pain, high blood pressure, sore throat, restless sleep, and gasping or choking at night. Lifestyle factors (i.e. alcohol consumption, being overweight) can contribute to and exacerbate snoring; however, the structural anatomy of the mouth and nasal structures must also be taken into account.
Patients with a naturally elongated uvula, or with a thick, low, or soft palate are predisposed to having narrowed or obstructed airways. These patients are more likely to snore, as are patients with a deviated septum (crooked partition between the nostrils) or chronic nasal congestion. Snoring can also be linked to obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially serious medical condition.
We offer both surgical and non-surgical treatments for snoring including but not limited to the following procedures and encourage you to visit us for a thorough evaluation to determine the best option for you.
Also known by the abbreviations UPPP and UP3, is a surgical procedure or sleep surgery used to remove tissue and/or remodel tissue in the throat. Tissues which may typically be removed include: The tonsils. The adenoids.
Palate – Radiofrequency Treatment for Snoring
Radiofrequency tissue reduction is a procedure for shrinking redundant tissue. It is used to reduce the volume of an enlarged soft palate and uvula as a treatment for habitual snoring. Unlike surgery or laser techniques, radiofrequency technique uses very long energy to create finely controlled coagulative zones underneath the musocal layer. These zones are naturally resorbed by the body, altering the tissue structure by reducing excess tissue. Radiofrequency treatment is designed to minimize the bleeding and pain associated with other techniques. It is performed under local anesthesia in an our onsite outpatient surgical suite.
During the procedure, local anesthesia is administered after which a tiny electrode is positioned under the mucosa of the soft palate. An insulation area protects the mucosa from any thermal effect. The uninsulated portion of the electrode transmits very low levels of radiofrequency energy. The energy causes molecular friction, which in turn heats up the tissue without burning it. This friction injures a small area of tissue, which is naturally resorbed over a period of a few weeks.
Diagrams of the Temperature Controlled Radiofrequency Procedure to Treat Snoring
Submucosal Delivery of TCRF Energy
The patient is fully awake throughout the treatment. The physician first applies a local anesthetic to the uvula and palate, similar to that used in a dental procedure. A few minutes later the RF device, which is connected to a radiofrequency generator, is placed into the mouth. A small electrode located at the end of the device is inserted into the soft palate. Radiofrequency is applied through the electrode. Part of the electrode is insulated to protect the delicate surface of the tissue. Through controlled delivery of radiofrequency energy, the tissue is heated in a limited area around the electrode. The patient does not feel discomfort during the procedure.
|Creation of Coagulative Lesion|
The procedure creates a submucosal lesion in the soft palate. Patients typically experience some swelling and have a mild sore throat. Following the procedure, most patients take an over-the-counter analgesic for one to three days.
|Tissue Volume Reduction|
Over a period of three to six weeks the lesion is naturally resorbed by the body, leading to tissue volume reduction. In addition, the collagen in the treated area tends to contract, lifting the uvula, stiffening the tissue and reducing its propensity to vibrate. With the reduction and tightening of the obstructive tissue, snoring is reduced in many patients.
Soft Palate Implants
There are several different kinds of soft palate implant surgeries and are the most common types of snoring surgery performed. In this type of surgery, small implants are inserted into the palate, which cause scar tissue to form and the palate to stiffen. This reduces the vibrations in the soft tissue in the mouth which is one of the main causes of snoring. Most palate implant procedures are fairly simple outpatient surgeries. Normally a local anesthetic gel is applied to the area and then a number of implants are inserted.
Please call us at 310.247.9090 to discuss your treatment options and to schedule a consultation.