Sleep Disorders

05 October 2009

New op to stop snoring

Radiofrequency ablation, a procedure using heat to shrink the tissue of the soft palate, is a minimally invasive and effective procedure which may cure snoring.


Radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses heat to shrink the tissue of the soft palate, is an effective and minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat patients who snore.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers discussed treatment of primary snoring in a prospective trial in a prospective study of 60 patients.

They sought to assess the three-year efficacy and morbidity of combined radiofrequency of the soft palate and partial uvulectomy.

Due to its minimally invasive character, significant improvement of primary snoring (snoring without sleep apnoea), and low postoperative complication rates, radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in general has become widespread.

Nevertheless, the long-term clinical efficacy of radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in primary snoring was limited.

Severity of snoring reduced
Compared with the preoperative snoring score, the severity of snoring was reduced after two treatment sessions of combined radiofrequency. Seventy-six percent of the patients were satisfied to receive this operative treatment, after three-year follow-up.

Primary snoring may be an early predictor for people who will eventually develop obstructive sleep apnoea. In contrast to obstructive sleep apnoea, no generally accepted gold standard is available for the treatment of primary snoring.

The researchers noted that prior to their study long-term research results surrounding radiofrequency surgery of primary snoring were limited.

Results of the current study may be able to guide physicians and patients in choosing effective treatment options for snoring. – (EurekAlert, October 2009)

Read more:
Neck size affects sleep apnoea


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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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