Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Sleep Apnea Health Center

Font Size

Implants Help Snorer's Sleep

Sleep Apnea Patients Also Benefit From New Treatment
WebMD Health News

Sept. 22, 2005 -- A new approach to treating snoring and sleep apnea may finally give many patients what they long for most -- a good night's sleep.

There are a range of effective treatments for sleep apnea and snoring, but patients often find them unacceptable, either because they are uncomfortable or involve painful surgery.

The Pillar Palatal Implant, approved by the FDA for sleep apnea and snoring, was shown to be effective for both conditions in two new studies to be presented in Los Angeles next week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

"This is one of the more promising new treatments out there," says Dallas sleep medicine specialist Craig Schwimmer, MD, who did not participate in either of the studies.

"To me the biggest attraction to this is that it is an effective alternative to standard surgery," he tells WebMD.

The standard surgery involves removal of excess tissue at the back of the throat and soft palate, a procedure known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). Patients who get the surgery face weeks of painful recovery and they don't always improve.

"This isn't a surgery that it is easy for patients to get excited about," Schwimmer says.

The New Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea and loud persistent snoring are two of the most common sleep complaints. If left untreated sleep apnea can lead to major health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. People with the disorder often snore, but not all snorers have sleep apnea.

Both conditions are caused by partial airway collapse, often due to weakening of the muscles of the soft palate. Palate movement, or "palatal flutter," causes the vibration, which results in snoring.

The new treatment reduces the movement or vibration of the soft palate with implants designed to stiffen it. Using a special needle, three pieces of braided, polyester string about three-quarters of an inch long each are inserted into the soft palate near the point where it meets the hard palate.

Although considered a surgical procedure, implantation takes only about 10 minutes and it is done under local anesthesia in the physician's office.

Today on WebMD

man wearing cpap
Know your myths from your facts.
man sleeping
What do they say about you?
man suffering from sleep apnea
You may need a sleep study.
exhausted and tired
Which type do you have?
Pet scan depression
Nighttime Heartburn
Fight Fatigue Sleepiness On The Road
Sleep Apnea Appliance
Foods That Help Or Harm Your Sleep
Sleep Apnea Clues
Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
Breus Sleep Apnea