Question

Snoring

What types of surgery can cure snoring?

A Answers (2)

  • AHealthwise answered

    Surgery for snoring is rarely used and only considered in cases of very severe snoring when other treatments have failed.

    Surgery is used to:

    • Remove excess soft tissue from the throat to widen the upper airway. This may involve removing the tonsils and adenoids and other tissues in the back of the throat (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty).
    • Correct an abnormally shaped wall (septum) between the nostrils or remove nasal polyps that block airflow through the nose.
    • Change the position of the bony structures in the upper airway, allowing air to flow more freely, especially during sleep. More than one surgery may be needed to make these changes.
    • Implant plastic cylinders in the soft palate to stiffen it to prevent it from vibrating. This can reduce snoring and the daytime sleepiness it causes.
    Surgery choices
    • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty removes excess tissue in the throat, widening the airway and leading to a smoother airflow. This may reduce snoring.
    • Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty uses a laser to remove excess tissue in the throat.
    • Radiofrequency palatoplasty is a procedure that uses an electrical current to shrink and stiffen the back part of the roof of the mouth (soft palate and uvula). When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate and you are less likely to snore.
    • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may be used if you have enlarged tonsils and adenoids that are blocking your airway during sleep.
    • Nasal septoplasty repairs and straightens the bone and tissues (septum) separating the two passages in the nose. This procedure is done if a nasal deformity interferes with breathing.
    • Nasal polypectomy removes soft, round tissues (polyps) that can project into the nasal passages.
    • Implanting plastic cylinders into the soft palate can stiffen it and help prevent it from vibrating.

    What to think about

    Surgery is rarely used to treat snoring. It may not completely cure snoring, and the risks of surgery may not be worth the small benefit you gain.

    Snoring is not always considered a medical problem, so insurance may not cover treatment.



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  • ADebra Fulghum Bruce PhD, Healthcare, answered

    The surgical procedures recommended to cure snoring include:

    • Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy - tonsils and adenoids are collections of lymph tissue found in the airways. If these are swollen, they can obstruct normal breathing and cause snoring. This surgery is performed by an ear-nose-throat surgeon in the operating room.
    • Uvulopalatopharyngolplasty (UPPP) - performed by an ear-nose-throat surgeon in the operating room with a scalpel. This procedure has a success rate of about 50 to 90 percent and involves removal of tonsils and adenoids, if present, and excision of the uvula and most of the soft palate, resulting in a larger pharyngeal airway at the end of the soft palate.
    • Laser-assisted uvulaopalatoplasty (LAUP) - a 15 to 30-minute office procedure to trim and reshape the uvula and soft palate, requiring only a local anesthetic . It has a success rate of curing snoring in about 95 percent of cases. During the office procedure, you remain upright and awake, and leave with no stitches and only a minor sore throat.
    • Nasal polypectomy, nasal septoplasty or other surgeries to correct abnormalities that cause obstruction to air flow in the nose. These operating room surgeries help to correct a deviated nasal septum.
    • Weight reduction surgery done in the operating room by a surgeon, involving shrinking the size of the stomach or through bypassing the stomach, which may solve the problem for the obese snorer. As with all types of surgery, the risks must be weighed with the benefits.

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