Surgery can be used as a treatment for snoring, but, like sleep apnea surgery, it is not considered a frontline treatment. In fact, snoring surgery is even less recommended because the potential benefit of eliminating simple snoring is not as great compared to the risks and costs of surgery. However, there are also some minimally-invasive surgical options that can be good for some people.
The soft palate is a major source of sound in snoring. It’s a large, floppy membrane that can vibrate loudly in response to turbulent air. It’s also a source of snoring that doesn’t respond well to oral appliance therapy—palate lifters tend to be uncomfortable and ineffective. So palate stiffening procedures are a good choice for a surgical approach.
Palatal implants can be used to achieve the desired effect. Implanting three small, plastic pieces in the palate can reduce snoring, and the procedure doesn’t require general anesthesia or a hospital visit.
The palate can also be stiffened by creating scar tissue in it. This can be done with radiofrequency energy or with chemical injections. This can be more painful and require a longer recovery.
Instead of trying to firm the palate, snoring surgery sometimes just tries to remove the part of the palate that is causing sound. This can be done as part of a larger procedure, such as an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which, as with sleep apnea, has a relatively low success rate. Though the success rate is higher for snoring, the procedure still has a high regression rate — snoring reduction might be good at first, but snoring returns.
A deviated septum, polyps, or irregular turbinates in the nose can contribute to snoring. The septum is the bony part of the nose that separates the two nostrils. Straightening it out can improve airflow and reduce snoring.
Polyps are soft tissue growths in the nostrils. Turbinates are structures that increase the surface area of the nostril for catching pollution and improving smell. Both can interfere with airflow and can be removed surgically to improve air flow and reduce snoring.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
The tonsils and adenoids are part of your immune system. They help trap bacteria and other foreign substances from entering your body and also serve as “marshalling stations” for certain immune cells. The tonsils are at the back of your mouth and the adenoids are at the back of your nose. Both can interfere with airflow. If these tissues are large and interfere with breathing, removal can reduce snoring.
Is Snoring Surgery Right for You?
At the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness, we consider all treatment options for our patients and have an extensive network of care partners that we utilize to ensure that every patient gets the best treatment for them. We will evaluate you carefully to determine if snoring surgery might be a good approach to eliminate your snoring.
To learn more about snoring treatment in Detroit, please call the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness at (248) 480-0085 today.