Here are descriptions of the most common surgical treatments available to reduce or stop snoring. Surgery for snoring is a last resort option and many of these procedures below are performed on individuals with sleep apnea.
Also called: UPPP, UP3, Standard UPPP
The Standard UPPP procedure involves removing soft tissue from the back of the throat that obstructs or blocks breathing, thus providing a larger airway for breathing and reducing snoring.
What’s removed: all or some of the following: uvula, soft palate, throat tissue behind the soft palate, tonsils, adenoids.
UP3 surgery typically requires staying in a hospital. It is a painful procedure requiring several weeks recovery time.
2. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty
Also called: LAUP
This is a varation of the UPPP treatment described above. In Laser Assisted UPPP, lasers are used to perform the surgery and less tissue is removed overall.
Unlike UPPP, LAUP can be performed in a doctors office.
Note that the AMA (American Medical Assocation) does not approve the use of lasers for UPPP surgery. (Source)
3. Pillar Palatal Implant
Also called: The Pillar Procedure
A pillar palatal implant reduces the movement and overall vibration of the soft palate in order to reduce snoring. It involves the insert of three to six dacron strips into the soft palate. It is a relatively painless procedure.
This outpatient procedure can be performed in just 10 to 30 minutes in a doctors office requiring only local anesthesia.
4. Radiofrequency Ablation
Also called: RFA
Radiofrequency Ablation applies radiofrequency energy and heat to the sot palate and uvula. This intentionally causes scarring and once healed, the area stiffens, reducing the ability to vibrate and thus reducing the severity of snoring.
This outpatient procedure takes about an hour (or less) but requires several sessions.
Also called: RFVTR, radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction, Somniplasty
Somnoplasty treatments for snoring result in an opening of the airway and a stiffening of throat tissue – the former making it easier to the breathe and the latter resulting in less throat vibration. The treatments involve having
radiofrequency energy targeted specific areas of the throat.
This is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, requiring less than an hour per somnoplasty session.
6. Repose Surgery
Also called: Tongue suspension procedure , Repose System
The Repose System surgery for snoring is ideal for individuals whose snoring is caused primarily by the tongue obstructing their breathing while sleeping. This tongue suspension procedure stabilizes the tongue so that during sleep is cannot fall back and get in the way of your breathing.
The Repose System is an outpatient surgery procedure performed under total anesthesia requiring under 1 hour to complete and 1-2 weeks of recovery time.
Injection snoreplasty is appropriate for individuals whose snoring is primarily caused by the tissue around the uvula. The top of the mouth is injected with something called “sodium tetradecyl sulfate.” This creates a blister that then turns into scar tissue, which then results in pulling the uvula forward, reducing vibration and thus, snoring.
Injection snoreplasty typically involves only a single treatment and only mildy painful. Over the counter medicine is used the next day during recovery.
Uvula Excision for Snoring Video
You might find the following video interesting to watch if you are considering surgery for snoring caused primarily through the uvula. This video describes removing the uvula. It is provided by the doctors at Fauquier Ear, Note, and Throat of Virginia.
Sources and Recommended Websites
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery Procedures – Detailed surgical information primarily relevant for sleep apnea patients.
- Snoring – Wikipedia’s entry on snoring and sleep.
- 15 Herbs That Help You Sleep – A look at 15 all natural sleep aid herbs that you can help sleep without being too strong.
- Sleep Eye Mask for Men – A guide to sleep eye masks for men.
- Causes of Sleep Deprivation – A look to sleep deprivation, its causes (which can include snoring), and suggestions for help.
What Is Your Experience?
Feel free to write in your comments if you have had or thinking of getting surgery for snoring.