There are different reasons for snoring, including obstructed sleep apnea. Sometimes a surgical approach can be a good solution but sometimes it is not. It’s important to gather all of the facts before you leap into snoring surgery. While surgery might be a good snoring solution for one person, you have to evaluate the upsides and the downsides while evaluating the risks versus the benefits.
Snoring generally originates from the soft palate. It’s the sound that is made when the soft palate vibrates during sleep and can easily be the cause of sleep deprivation of an entire household. Family members can happily push you toward snoring surgery without considering all of the angles out of a well intentioned desire for night time peace.
When the upper airway is obstructed, snoring happens from within the throat. The airflow is unable to remain consistent and choking or gasping occurs. Central apnea is derived from a condition originating farther through the diaphragm and thus any kind of snoring surgery is not likely to work well.
Without a thorough assessment of the origins of the snoring and the type of sleep apnea that might be involved, moving ahead with snoring surgery can actually be dangerous and ineffective. Simply taking the time to be evaluated by a top rated physician that specializes in otolaryngology can make a world of difference.
Some surgeons may recommend a laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty, as it is the most common procedure performed for snoring. This type of snoring surgery requires the removal of the uvula with a laser.
Sometimes a tongue suspension procedure is recommended as the preferred snoring surgery technique. In this case, the tongue is literally suspended by inserting a screw into the jaw. This helps to prevent obstructive snoring during sleep. LAUP, or laser assisted uvula palatoplasty, is an outpatient procedure which requires general anesthesia.
If your snoring or sleep apnea is on the mild side, the use of a pillar procedure might be the recommended snoring surgery. This is a simple, less intrusive surgical procedure that stiffens the soft palate with an implant. This means that there is less fluttering and less obstruction for better air flow and a reduction in snoring.
Snoreplasty does the same thing except that it is not actually snoring surgery. An injection of material that will harden in the upper palate has a similar effect without any cutting.
In most cases, your local otolaryngology, or ear, nose, and throat department, can asses your root causes of snoring and address whether you would benefit from snoring surgery. In some cases, facial plastic surgery might be needed in order to redesign the roof of the mouth and create a more reasonable airway, but this is a snoring surgery option that is reserved for those with severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Downsides of Snoring Surgery
There are downsides associated with all snoring surgery. Any kind of neck surgery or the removal of the uvula poses risk factors.
Medical mistakes happen. Infections can be extremely dangerous. For the icing on the cake most medical insurance companies are not willing to cover snoring surgery because it is considered an elective surgery.
While medical issues from the perpetual lack of sleep can be serious, there are very few insurance companies that acknowledge the dangers associated with snoring and therefore dismiss snoring surgery as an elective procedure.
Benefits of Snoring Surgery
There are also benefits to snoring surgery for those who are heavily impacted by the problems associated with it. Some people stop snoring altogether while others find that their snoring is significantly reduced.
Some people end up feeling much more rested after they’ve slept and the fatigue that has plagued the household dissipates. These are certainly issues that are not just related to the quality of one’s life, but the health of the family as well.
Snoring surgery might not be for everyone, and it’s important to know whether or not you’re actually a candidate for the procedure before following through with it.
For those who find that the risks of snoring surgery, the costs, and the potential outcome are not in their favor there are other alternatives. You can use a wide variety of products that are known to help reduce snoring if you’re experiencing a soft palate issue.
If you are experiencing obstructive sleep apnea you will want to see a physician before deciding on anything.
The pros and cons of snoring surgery may require two different medical opinions. Most physicians who understand the risks and the benefits associated with snoring surgery will support a decision to get a second opinion before making up your mind.