Painless Breakthrough therapy for snoring
Somnoplasty in Seattle offers a virtually painless therapy for snoring and sleep apnea. It offers a revolutionary means of treating these problems and providing a true 'cure'. Snoring is a serious problem affecting more than 60-80 million people in this country. Far from being a "funny" problem, snoring can disrupt sleep and even marriages. A percentage of individuals who snore loudly may have the more serious condition of obstructive sleep apnea which ranges from a minor concern to a life threatening condition.
This procedure is generally performed with a local anesthetic in the office setting when treating snoring. In the case of sleep apnea treatment there may be the need for light sedation administered by our anesthesiologist. For snoring, the physician first applies a local anesthetic to the palate area, similar to that used in a dental procedure. A few minutes later the Somnus device, which is connected to a radio frequency generator, is used for the treatment. A small electrode located at the end of the device is inserted into the soft palate tissue and energy is then delivered generally to three different sites. Each site requires about two minutes of treatment.
Radio-frequency energy is applied through the electrode. Part of the electrode is insulated to protect the delicate surface tissue. Through controlled delivery of radio-frequency energy, the tissue is heated in a limited area around the electrode. The patient does not feel discomfort during the procedure.
The procedure creates a sub-mucosal (under the surface) lesion in the soft palate. There is only minor swelling and possibly a mild sore throat for 24 hrs. Following the Somnoplasty procedure, most patients take no medication or only an over-the-counter analgesic for one to two days.
Over a period of three to six weeks the lesion is naturally absorbed by the body, leading to tissue volume reduction. In addition, the collagen in the treated area tends to contract, lifting the uvula, stiffening the tissue and reducing its propensity to vibrate. With the reduction and tightening of the obstructive tissue, snoring is markedly reduced or eliminated in most patients.
We extensively evaluate all of our patients prior to offering options of therapy. The exact cause or causes for snoring need to be identified in order to best resolve the problem. A sleep study is often performed in order to determine if there is any problem with obstructive sleep apnea. Highly individualized evaluation and therapy results in the most effective treatment. A detailed evaluation of the upper airway is key to this. For more information on sleep disorders, click here.
If there is the additional problem of sleep apnea then the targeted use of Somnoplasty in Seattle to treat the affected areas often results in effective cure of the condition. Generally the tissue involved is the tongue base that collapses back in the throat causing obstruction and/or excess, floppy palate tissue that obstructs. Somnoplasty may offer a highly successful and curative option for treatment.
We have one of the world's largest, if not in fact the largest experience with the Somnoplasty technique. Our results are excellent with at least a 95% complete success rate utilizing 2 to 3 treatment sessions. Of the remaining 5% there is almost always improvement and generally only minor additional treatment is needed. Ultimately the key to success is the careful evaluation and assessment of where the problem is so that treatment is accurately targeted.