When not accompanied by obstructive sleep apnea, simple snoring in adults is generally due to floppy tissues at the back of the roof of the mouth, or soft palate. Nasal obstruction due to a variety of structural or allergic issues can also contribute to the problem. It is important that a thorough history be taken in regards to sleep habits, general health, and potential allergies to help determine any easily corrected contributing factors, and the physicians of CENTA listen carefully and know what to look for.
Options for treatment of snoring not related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea might include one of several procedures to stiffen the soft palate or the use of oral appliances to move the lower jaw forward during sleep. There are several such procedures available to stiffen the soft palate, and since such procedures are not covered by insurance, we offer a range of procedures which vary in cost and invasiveness. These include:
- Injection snoreplasty, the off-label injection of a chemical into the soft palate which can result in stiffening over a period of a month or more. This procedure, the least expensive option, might require more than one injection for success, can be repeated if later relapse is noted, and does not preclude other treatments in the future, if needed.
- Pillar implants. This involves the implantation of three roughly half-inch thin rods of tightly woven medical grade Dacron into the soft palate. Like the other procedures offered for snoring at CENTA, this is done under local anesthesia without the need for sedation. (See Illustration)
- Somnoplasty®, which utilizes radiofrequency energy to make the palate stiffer and perhaps shorter. This energy is delivered through an electrode placed under the surface of the palate in one or more sessions and is relatively painless. CENTA's Dr. Tod Huntley was involved with the early research studies for this technology, and CENTA's physicians have more experience with Somnoplasty® than anyone else in the region. (See Illustration)
- Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). As is the case with each of the snoring procedures listed in this section, CENTA physicians were the first in the state of Indiana to offer this treatment for snoring. LAUP has been available as an office procedure for snoring at CENTA since the early 1990s, and involves the use of a CO2 laser to reshape the end of the soft palate. This can be done in one session or in a staged fashion, and may include removal of all or part of the uvula (the "hanging down" extension of the soft palate in the midline) and shortening of the soft palate. (See Illustration)
- Cautery-assisted palatal stiffening operation (CAPSO), uvulopalatal flap (UPF), and anterior palatoplasty. These procedures are among the other office surgical procedures we offer, which stiffen the soft palate, shorten it, or advance it forward, respectively. The decision as to which of these, if any, might be beneficial can be discussed with your physician. All are done under local anesthesia in the office.
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