Procedures/Surgery to Treat Snoring

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Swedish Otolaryngology

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Following are options to procedurally treat snoring. Appropriateness of a particular procedure involves detailed assessment of the problem and patient goals and is based on physical examination findings. Each patient requires a highly individualized evaluation and treatment plan.

Nasal and Sinus Surgery

If there is significant sinonasal congestion, nasal breathing becomes difficult and this may contribute to snoring. Causes of nasal congestion can include deviated nasal septum, sinonasal polyps, turbinate hypertrophy, nasal valve collapse. Nasal and or sinus surgery may be helpful.

Pillar Implant

Pillar implant procedure is an FDA approved office based procedure and has been around 2003 and involves placement of typically three tiny polyester rods into the soft palate. Over time, tissues bind with the implant and stiffening of the palate occurs. This reduces vibration and relaxation of the soft palatal tissue. This procedure can be effective in properly selected patients to treat both snoring and mild sleep apnea. The procedure is generally well tolerated and is performed under local anesthesia.


Somnoplasty is an office-based procedure performed under local anesthesia to treat snoring. Somnoplasty uses controlled low power radiofrequency energy to create lesions in the area of obstruction, either the palate, tongue or turbinate tissue. Over a period of approximately 8 weeks, absorption and contraction of tissue occurs reducing volume and stiffening the remaining tissue. The procedure typically requires multiple treatments.

Laser (LAUP) or Cautery (CAUP) Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty

LAUP or CAUP uses laser or cautery energy to remove tissue and tighten the soft palate. There are multiple techniques and choice is dependent on unique characteristics of the patient. This procedure can be quite painful however and is typically reserved for select patients.