Stop Snoring Surgery
Although there are many surgical procedures to treat snoring and related sleep disorders, the results are often disappointing. Before heading down this path, be sure to test other remedies.
Here are the major categories of surgery for snoring.
Open the airways by enlarging the throat
Effectiveness: One study of 741 patients found that snoring did return within 18-24 months in many patients, although it was less disturbing than before. But only 55% of patients reported that their bed partner was satisfied with the outcome. In 2001, an Israeli clinic reported that after a year their patients showed a significant decline in snoring improvement from 88% to 65%; snoring actually worsened in 12% of the cases, possibly because the laser-induced scarring made the back of the throat less flexible.
Cautery-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (CAUP):
instead of a laser, some physicans use cautery equipment.
A heated wire or electrode is used to burn away all or part
of the uvula. A
2006 review found
the effectiveness of UPPP, LAUP and CAUP procedures to be
similar (more than 83%). Postoperative pain was mostly seen
in LAUP and UPPP cases. The CAUP procedure was easy and the
Stiffening the tissue in the throat and soft palate
Somnoplasty and Coblation, described more fully elsewhere on this web site, also achieves palatal stiffening using radiofrequency energy to scar the inner palate. This is a more recent procedure, with long terms results still unclear. It's more expensive than CAPSO.
And most recently, Restore Medical has introduced the Pillar procedure, using polyester inserts to stiffen the palate.
More invasive surgery
This page owes much to an article by Philip D. Littlefield in Ear Nose and Throat Journal, November 1999, Snoring Surgery: Which one is best for you?