Snoring can be considered as a medical concern. It is mostly due to a mechanical obstruction that our throat structures put upon our airway. If we have an ugly airway clearance, one where there are a lot of obstructions, can lead to snoring. As such, snoring also has its own treatment protocol, like any other disorders. Each protocol has its own initial/ first choice of treatment and last treatment resort.
In the verse of snoring, initial treatments usually employ the use of stop snoring pillows, essential oils inside the room, as well as exercising facial and throat muscles to keep the airway strong and avoid throat muscles from sagging. If after making use of the preferred and first line treatments, snoring still wouldn’t stop, some physicians may recommend surgery.
Stop snoring surgery is aimed at correcting the mechanical problems inside your throat to make sure the air flows smoothly in and out of your airways. Here are the common surgical procedures performed to stop snoring:
The first form of stop snoring surgery is UPPP of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. To understand this term, we have to cut the word in four parts—uvula, palate, pharynx and –plasty which means repair. The uvula is the tissue structure in the middle of our tonsils, the palate includes the roof of our mouth and we all know where our pharynx is. This procedure involves the removal of the uvula, the tissues around the palate (in some cases, the tonsils are also taken away), the arch in the pharynx is also widened. This procedure is aimed at widening the pharyngeal area leading to lesser incidences of snoring.
Another form of stop snoring surgery is LAUP of Laser-Assisted UvuloPalatoPlasty. This is much like the UPPP only that this one is laser assisted—meaning, the surgeon makes use of laser waves in order to remove the obstruction like the uvula and the soft part of the palate. Since this procedure is laser assisted, this stop snoring surgery can be performed up to four times to make sure the patients get the best results.
Palatal Stiffening is another stop snoring surgery which some people make use of. Unlike the other forms of surgery mentioned, this one can be performed in an outpatient surgical suite. This involves cauterizing parts of the soft palate causing them to become fibrotic and stiff. As such, this will avoid the palate from falling backwards which often leads to snoring.
Somnoplasty is a novel stop snoring surgery procedure and is considered the least invasive among all. Somnoplasty involves the use of radio frequency waves in order to shrink the soft tissues of our palate. Like Palatal Stiffening, this can also be performed in outpatient clinics and can be done multiple times until the desired effect is achieved.
Like any other surgical procedures, any stop snoring surgery has its own risks that a person must be fully aware of before lying on the OR table. These risks and benefits should also be weighed and explained by your surgeon and physician before you sign the consent form.