Surgeries That May Help Your Snoring Problem

Posted on: 13 February 2017

People often joke about snoring but it is no laughing matter when snoring disrupts your life. If you have a snoring problem, you may be sleepy during the day and you could develop health problems from the apnea that's often associated with it. There are numerous treatments for snoring, but sometimes the only thing that works is surgery. Surgery is generally the last resort, but it may be necessary to improve your quality of life. Here is a look at the types of surgery your doctor may consider to help with your problem.

Types Of Snoring Surgery

Snoring is the result of tissues vibrating in your soft palate when you sleep at night. Once you fall asleep, the tissues in your throat deeply relax. This can cause them to fall into and obstruct your airway when you breathe. The snoring sound comes from the relaxed tissues vibrating as you struggle to pass air over them. The purpose of surgery is to remove the tissues that obstruct your airway so you have a clear passage for air. There are two ways of doing this. One is to remove the tissues in your soft palate or nose, and the other is to use implants or other treatments that stiffen the tissues so they can't relax and block your airway.

Procedures That Stiffen Tissues

Surgeries that stiffen tissues are less invasive and can usually be done in the doctor's office. Your doctor uses chemical injections or radiotherapy to cause damage to your soft palate or uvula. The damage causes a response in your tissues that leads to inflammation and the formation of scars. The scarred tissue becomes stiffer so it doesn't vibrate as easily, and this reduces your snoring. Another surgery that stiffens tissue uses artificial implants. The implants are inserted into your soft palate to make it rigid.

The implants along with the scarring that results from their insertion cause your soft palate to become more rigid and less prone to collapsing into your airway once you're asleep. The implant surgery can usually be done with a local anesthetic in your doctor's office. This procedure is considered less painful and most effective, but it is also the most expensive, which is an important consideration if you have to pay for the surgery out of pocket.

Tissue Removal Surgery

If you need surgery to remove tissue from your nose or throat, you'll probably have the procedure done under general anesthesia in a surgery center. Your doctor may remove your tonsils or adenoids if they are enlarged and causing your snoring problem. Other surgeries focus on nasal tissue and your doctor may remove polyps, take out excess bone, or straighten a deviated septum to remove nasal blockages that contribute to snoring. Another type of snoring surgery deals with your soft palate and may involve removing or reducing the size of your uvula, removing tissues from your soft palate and upper throat area. With the amount of tissue reduced in your airway, there will be less risk of blockage once the remaining tissue relaxes completely when you fall asleep, and this should reduce or eliminate your snoring problem.

The first step in determining which surgery is right for you is to undergo testing and a physical evaluation to determine the exact cause of your snoring. Once that's known, your doctor can recommend the most effective approach for eliminating your snoring, so you can enjoy better health thanks to improved quality of sleep.