What is Somnoplasty?

Elderly Man on Tablet

Snoring is one of the most annoying things to experience in the world. Whether you’re on the receiving or giving end of snoring, it can be frustrating knowing what it does to the people dearest to us.

When we breathe air, it passes through the throat as it heads to the lung. It passes the soft palate and uvula, which vibrate at night, causing the distinctive sounds of snoring. In order to stop the issue of snoring, many people have resorted to medical procedures such as somnoplasty, which is a term for the surgical treatment of snoring.

How does somnoplasty work?

During the process, you’ll be asked to sit upright on a chair. You’ll be fully awake during the procedure, but the ears, nose and throat specialist will make use of a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t experience pain during the procedure. They will also explain how the procedure works and also show you the tools they’ll be using.

The goal of the procedure is to stiffen or remove tissues on the soft palate and uvula that could likely cause snoring to occur. The device used emits low radiofrequency heat energy levels in order to create a localized burn area under the lining of the soft palate tissue.

Your body will automatically adapt to these burned areas, shrinking the tissues and stiffening again to help reduce the symptoms of snoring. The usually takes around 30 minutes to finish.

The primary reason to perform this procedure is to deal with snoring, but it can also be used to help a patient manage sleep apnea or other similar issues related to snoring or trouble sleeping.

Success rate of somnoplasty

Somnoplasty is a procedure with a fairly high success rate. Some people often experience their snoring getting worse in the few days following the procedure, but this is actually normal due to the tissues still attempting to repair themselves. After a couple more days, you should start seeing a drastic improvement in your snoring.

As with all surgeries, there’s always an inherent risk with snoring surgery and it’s not a 100% foolproof. Make sure you speak to an ear, nose and throat specialist to ensure you’re getting the correct advice and help before you make the decision to undergo snoring surgery. While it has helped many people around the world, do keep in mind that there’s always a slight chance that a problem occurs.

Should you consider somnoplasty?

Snoring typically isn’t a dangerous thing, especially if it only happens now and then. However, if you’re worried that it could be sleep apnea or have a more serious underlying issue, then it’s a good idea to speak to an ENT doctor and have them make a diagnosis based on your current health condition.

If you don’t have sleep apnea then all is well and you can choose to slowly break out of your snoring habits. However, if the ENT doctor deems that you should undergo the procedure as soon as possible, then it could be a good opportunity to do so.