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What is the Pillar procedure?

Craig L. Schwimmer, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
The Pillar Procedure is an FDA approved treatment for both snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. It works by stiffening the soft palate. Under local anesthesia, small implants (stitches, really) are placed inside the soft palate. Over time, the body forms scar tissue around these implants. This scar stiffens the soft palate, decreasing the vibration and collapse that can contribute to snoring and sleep apnea.

The Pillar procedure is typically an in-office treatment that may help relieve your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. After giving you a local anesthetic, your doctor will place several tiny pieces of polyester string in the back of your mouth. The string stiffens your mouth, reduce airway relaxation and vibrations, and increase airflow as you sleep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.