Snoring Surgery Offers Lasting Relief
Radiofrequency Ablation for Snoring Is Safe and Effective, Study Says
Oct. 5, 2009 -- A minimally invasive snoring treatment that uses heat to
shrink the tissue of the soft palate may provide years of more peaceful slumber
for snorers and their mates.
An early study shows that nearly three-fourths of snorers who underwent
radiofrequency ablation were still satisfied with the results three years
Radiofrequency ablation has become a popular treatment for primary snoring
not associated with obstructive sleep apnea, but researchers say that until now
the long-term effectiveness of the snoring surgery has not been studied.
Snoring Treatment Lasts
In a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of
Otolaryngology, researchers evaluated the safety and effectiveness of
radiofrequency ablation and partial uvulectomy in 60 adults who had the snoring
treatment. A partial uvulevtomy or trimming of the soft tissue that hangs down
at the back of the throat is often done in combination with radiofrequency
ablation of the tissue of the soft palate in treating snoring.
Compared with their pre-surgery snoring scores, the severity of snoring was
significantly reduced after two sessions of radiofrequency ablation treatment
and remained significantly reduced for up to three years after the snoring
Painkillers were used an average of about four to five days after the first
treatment session, and 72% of those who had the treatment were satisfied three
years later. The researchers noted that treatment-related throat irritation was
limited but persistent for some patients.
Researchers Cheng-Lu Lin, MD, and Jiunn-Liang Wu, MD say that in contrast to
obstructive sleep apnea, there is no generally accepted gold standard of
treatment for primary snoring. But they say the results of this study should
serve as a guide in choosing the effective treatment options for snoring.