Surgery for snoring is the last resort and will only be considered for very severe cases of snoring when all possible non-surgical treatments for snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnea have already been exhausted to no avail. Here you will find out the basic surgical procedures that will treat snoring, how they are done, and if going under the knife is really your best option.
The basic objective of snoring surgery is to widen the airway and remove the obstruction in the air passages that causes snoring. This can be done by removing the excess soft tissue from the throat which may involve removal of tonsils and adenoids, as well as other tissues in the back of the throat. Moreover, surgery can be done to remove the nasal polyps that restrict the airflow through the nose, correct the structures in the upper airway, and implant plastic cylinders in the soft palate to stiffen it in order to prevent vibration.
What You Should Consider
Before you decide to undergo surgery, there are important factors to keep in mind. The following are just a few points among the many things you should put into consideration.
- Snoring surgery should only be considered as the last resort. That means you have already tried all other non-surgical options since you may be able to treat snoring without having to go through surgery. Remember that once you undergo the procedure, it cannot be undone. You will have no way to reverse the unwanted side effects of surgery. You may check our article on simple snoring fixes for some natural remedies for snoring.
- It does not guarantee success. Even if it is considered successful, snoring may return after a few months. It may not completely cure snoring and is not always effective in all patients particularly those with deep oropharynx where side walls tend to collapse toward each other. Additionally, if you put on weight, it is easy to develop snoring and sleep apnea.
- Post-treatment pain. You will experience minimal to severe pain and discomfort after surgery and recovery period may take a while.
Your doctor should explain to you all the preparations required, how the procedure is going to be performed, and what you should expect after the treatment.
Some surgeons will require sleep nasendoscomy before surgical procedure to determine the level of obstruction. Sleep nasendoscomy is a technique used in assessing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The process involves sedating the patient to sleep so the surgeon can directly visualize the upper airway through a narrow flexible endoscope.
Basic Surgical Procedures
Among all the surgery options for snoring, UPPP is the most common procedure. It removes the excess tissue from the soft palate and pharynx. The tonsils are also removed and after removing the tissues, sutures are placed to keep the area widely open for smoother airflow and prevent collapse. This procedure requires an overnight stay in the hospital and recovery may take a full week.
Laser-assisted uvuloplatoplasty (LAUP)
As the name suggests, the procedure involves laser treatment. It vaporizes the free edge of the soft palate and uvulva using laser. This procedure does not remove the tonsils. Although deemed as safer and more comfortable compared to UPPP, this procedure requires general anesthesia, and post-surgery pain is reported to be severe.
(Continued on Next Page…CAPSO + Somnoplasty)
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