Surgical alternatives are normally saved for a last resort and for good reason. There are many different surgeries available which will be mentioned here. I also have a separate article focusing on only the Pillar procedure which was developed within the last few years. If you are looking for information about the Pillar procedure please see my article about it.
Surgical procedures that reduce snoring tend to concentrate on one structure or another near the airway. However, there are exceptions that bring multiple structures into the picture with a single procedure.
There are operations that modify the tonsils, soft palate, uvula, and adenoids. Both pros and cons exist with any surgical option, so be certain this is really what you want before making any definite arrangements.
Personally, I suggest trying all other options first because of the dangers involved with surgery in addition to the chance the operation might not work. Even with all of the advancements of modern medicine, operations to reduce snoring are not guaranteed to work.
The first process available is the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. It’s quite a mouthful to say, but really this process is taking a mouthful from you. It could cause some difficulties with eating or drinking for some time, because tissue is actually being cut out.
In fact, this procedure typically takes tissue from multiple structures in and around the airway. The post-surgery pain is known to continue for weeks. The uvula is also heavily used in particular words and languages.
The biggest danger with this particular process is the chance of causing sleep apnea. That possibility may seem ironic, but sadly it is true. The price may also be an issue since some insurance providers won’t pay for operations like this.
There’s a variation of the operation above that’s done using a laser. This approach is believed to be a little safer; however there isn’t much research about this version yet. The keyword in that sentence is believed. The laser version could be repeated but this includes exactly the same pain following the procedure each time. Regardless of why you snore, I recommend avoiding this operation, mainly because of the infamous pain and the risk of developing sleep apnea.
A somnoplasty is another possible snoring solution. This process doesn’t include removing any tissue. It is normally a quick process and entails electrodes and RF energy. Although it might be repeated before you get the results that you want, the somnoplasty is much less painful than various other alternatives.
This operation is something of a cousin to some older cancer treatments. The electrodes are used to transfer the RF energy to deeper levels of tissue without doing any cutting. The RF energy then kills some of the tissue. Once this has occurred the dead tissue is absorbed by the body and the tissue on top of the dead spot drops down a bit and stiffens up at the same time.
If you get a somnoplasty for snoring, the doctor will do this to your uvula and soft palate. If you have this operation as a treatment for sleep apnea then the doctor will usually target the base of your tongue and a few other structures.
A septoplasty is a procedure to fix a deviated septum. If your septum is deviated that merely means the cartilage at the center of your nose favors one side rather than running perfectly down the center.
When your septum favors one side of your nose it obstructs airflow and can cause snoring. Obviously this process can only help you if you have a deviated septum; however it is pretty safe and is a fairly fast operation.
Only you can decide if surgery is the right option for you. I always recommend against it unless all other options have been exhausted.
All of the procedures that can reduce snoring come with different risks, so if you go this route you really need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
You also need to really trust your doctor. That being said, check out some other possible snoring solutions for now.
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