Millions of Americans suffer from snoring conditions, which in turn also translates into millions of others, such as spouses, having to suffer through the consequences of the condition. This has caused many to suffer poor quality of sleep among other outcomes as a result of the condition. Snoring is caused by the irregular movement of air through the passageway at the throat due to an obstruction. This obstruction is often the soft tissue of the soft palate or the uvula which obstruct the smooth passage of air to the lungs. When someone who snores sleeps, this soft tissue causes the air passing through to do so through a narrow space, which in turn causes the obstructing tissue to vibrate. In some instances, snoring may be accompanied by sleep apnea, a condition where the airway is obstructed altogether and the person stops breathing momentarily while they sleep. In both instances, the condition can be treated through a minimally invasive procedure called coblation palatoplasty
Coblation palatoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed to reduce snoring. Whereas in the past snoring was treated as an inpatient surgical case, this new form of treatment is minimally invasive and in some cases is performed with only local anesthetic. The procedure involves the reduction in size of the soft tissue causing the snoring. This is achieved by making some small incisions in the soft tissue (soft palate and/or uvula) and then inserting a radio frequency probe that creates a channel within the tissue. The probe is then activated for around ten seconds to cause shrinkage in the tissue. This is repeated in a few other area of the tissue. After the procedure and during the healing process, the tissue scars and shrinks in size causing the overall shrinkage of the soft tissue causing the snoring. When effective, this procedure can reduce significantly or eliminate snoring entirely after a few weeks.
When you come in these are the steps you will take while undergoing the coblation palatoplasty procedure:
Coblation palatoplasty has a number potential side effects. These include:
After the procedure you will need to be closely monitored by a responsible adult. This is because in some rare cases bleeding may continue posing a serious threat to the patient. The surgeon will instruct you to take rest for two weeks to allow complete healing although your GP may extend this if healing is not complete. A follow up visit will be slated for six months later to evaluate the success of the procedure. If you are still snoring the procedure may need to be repeated.