Surgery for correction of snoring

In some people a part of the air inhaled by them did not go to their lungs, but they get diverted and pass out through the mouth due to some blockage in the throat or nasal cavities.  The air that goes out through the mouth causes a low pressure in the mouth and causes the soft palate to vibrate producing the snoring sound.

It has been found that the snoring habit can be stopped by changing some life styles like stopping alcoholism, reducing of overweight, practicing sleep hygiene, clearing nasal passage, , changing the sleeping position etc. In addition to this life style changes there are some medications and nasal sprays which can be made use of to reduce the snoring habit to a considerable extent.

If the above methods are not giving satisfactory results, then as a next step usage of anti snoring devices can be tried out. Nasal strips, chin strips, mandibular repositioning splints etc are examples of anti snoring devices which can be used by the patient depending upon his need. Your surgeon will opt for surgical solution only if all the above methods have failed to produce satisfactory results.

Doctors opt for surgical management of snoring only if there are anatomical problems like large tonsils. In this surgery the tonsils of the patient are removed and this will put an end to the snoring if oversized tonsils are the root cause for snoring.

If the snoring is cause due to reasons other than large tonsils, then there are four types of surgical procedures that can be made use of to solve the problem of snoring. They are uvulopalatopahryngoplasty (UPPP), uvulopalatoplasty (UP), palate implants and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the soft palate.

1)      Uvulopalatopahryngoplasty (UPPP): When it is confirmed that the soft tissue in your mouth excluding your tongue is responsible for the snoring, this procedure is made use of to solve the problem. In this procedure the surgeon removes the uvula, some portion of your soft palate, excess tissue around the base of your throat etc. In some cases tonsils and adenoid also are removed. UPPP is done under general anesthesia, but the the problem with UPPP is that it is always accompanied by severe pain which may last up to 3 weeks.

2)      Uvulopalatoplasty (UP): In this procedure laser beams or high energy radio waves are used for removing uvular and some part of the soft palate. Though this is a low risk procedure, evidence suggests that UP is not as successful as UPPPP. The possibility of pain exists in uvulopalatoplasty also, but the duration of pain is  estimated to be two weeks as against three weeks in the case of UPPP.

3)      Soft palate implants: This is a surgical procedure used for preventing snoring if the cause for this habit is the vibration of the soft palate. In this procedure implants made of synthetic materials are injected to the soft palate so that soft palate stiffens and hardens preventing the vibrations of the same.

4)      Radio frequency ablation:  This is another surgical procedure for preventing snoring if the vibration of the soft palate is the reason for the snoring. In this procedure, local anesthesia is applied to the mouth of the patient and an electrode is connected to the soft palate. Through this electrode high energy radio waves are delivered to help the shrinkage and hardening of the soft palate..