Snoring Surgery Overview

The surgery of snoring aims at correcting the following where necessary:

  • Poor nasal airflow.
  • Loose tissues in the throat.
  • Loose tissues in the roof of mouth – soft palate.
  • Large tonsils and adenoids.
  • Large or mispositioned tongue.
  • Jaw abnormalities.
  • Excess neck fat.

The surgery of snoring may rectify one or more of the above problems. Nasal and soft palate difficulties are the most common causes of snoring. However, a detailed medical assessment is required to both identify and plan the nature of corrective surgery. 

Nasal blockage can be caused by a twist in the nasal septum cartilage. Other nasal problems include swelling of the nasal tissues due to allergy or polyps.

If nasal blockage is part of your snoring problem, this will be your first operation. Approximately 40 percent of snorers are sorted out with the nasal surgery alone. If snoring is still present, then subsequent surgery of the roof of the mouth will be the next procedure. The palate floppiness must be corrected by either stiffening the palate or by shortening excessive length of the soft palate and uvula. This may involve the lesser procedure of radiowave palatoplasty or need the more definitive Laser reconstruction (see Laserbatten surgery).

All of the above surgery can be safely carried out under local anaesthetic in a comfortable manner. There is no pain with the operation itself., however some discomfort may be felt afther the operation itself dependant on the procedure.

Where the problem of snoring is worsened by sleep apnoea, tongue or jaw surgery may be required. The surgery is usually required because the tongue is falling back against the rear wall of the throat causing a blockage of the airway. The procedures to correct these difficulties are more extensive and will usually require general anaesthesia. These procedures are only available in a few centres around the world at the present time.

Sleep apnoea has been associated with findings of increased fat deposits surrounding the throat soft tissues. Neck lipectomy either through liposuction or liposhaving techniques can significantly modify neck fat deposits. There is as yet not significant evidence to support this as a stand alone procedure to the exclusion of the above mentioned techniques. A useful cosmetic correction of neck appearance is a side-benefit of this procedure.

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