Somnoplasty (Snoring treatment)
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Somnoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to treat the following conditions:
- Habitual snoring
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Chronic nasal obstruction
During the course of breathing, air moves through the throat on its way to the lungs.
The air moves past the tongue, soft palate, uvula, and tonsils. The soft palate is the soft tissue constituting the back of the roof of the mouth. The uvula is the notable anatomic structure hanging down right behind the mouth. See figure below.
Every time an individual is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat firm up to keep these structures in position preventing them from collapsing and/or vibrating in the airway.
While sleeping, the uvula and soft palate often vibrate producing the distinctive sounds of snoring.
Somnoplasty aims to reduce the symptoms produced by habitual snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic nasal obstruction by removing tissues of the uvula, soft palate, and turbinates.
In contrast to similar procedures (like laser), Somnoplasty makes use of very low levels of radiofrequency heat to produce finely controlled localized burn-areas under the lining of the soft tissues of the throat.
These burn sites are gradually absorbed by the body, reducing the tissue volume, opening the airway, and so eliminating symptoms of snoring, chronic nasal obstruction or obstructive sleep apnea.
Somnoplasty is carried out under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting and requires around 30 minutes.
Before the actual procedure, your doctor will give you an oral spray to begin anesthetizing the throat area. After the throat is anesthetized to a certain extent, your doctor will give about 3 small injections in the roof of the mouth.
The majority of patients find that the process of anesthetizing the throat to be of an only little discomfort.
You will be sited upright and fully awake during the procedure. Your doctor will describe the procedure and demonstrate the equipment.
The somnus device, which is attached to a radiofrequency generator, is placed into the mouth. A small electrode situated at the tip of the device is inserted into the soft palate. Radiofrequency is administered through the electrode. Some parts of the electrode are insulated to protect the delicate surface of the tissue. See figure below.
By way of a regulated delivery of radiofrequency energy, the tissue is heated in a restricted area around the electrode. The majority of individuals find the treatment to be unexpectedly comfortable.
After the Procedure
Due to the local swelling of the treated area after the procedure, more snoring can be expected. Positive changes can be observed in one or two weeks and continue to happen for up to many months.
It is possible to go home as soon as you feel comfortable. Almost all patients can easily drive by themselves home from the hospital. It is important to sleep with your head raised on 2-3 pillows for a few nights after the procedure.
A feeling of heaviness in the back of the throat is usually experienced for several days. By keeping your head higher above your heart, you can reduce edema and swelling. Placing an ice pack to the neck might help relieve the swelling.
A sore throat may be experienced for several days and you will be given medications to treat and soothe the soreness.
Eating or drinking is not allowed until the anesthesia has gone away. After this time, you may move on towards your normal diet as tolerated.
Follow your schedule for a checkup, usually 7 to 10 days after the procedure.
Take the first step and contact us through our no-cost virtual consultation. During this process, we will recommend options that will work best for you. Every client is different, so our virtual consultants and surgeons tailor the procedure to match each person’s needs.