Is Somnoplasty Effective?
If you have a large soft palate or a uvula that triggers snoring, you might consider surgical reduction of these structures to reduce snoring. One such procedure is somnoplasty. An Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) in Omaha can perform this procedure or others like it. However, there are some important things to understand about somnoplasty before you get it, including:
- Duration of results
Somnoplasty is generally considered to be effective for most people, at least in the short term. Studies show that about 70-80% of people who get somnoplasty will see a major reduction in their snoring volume. This is not an elimination of snoring, but in one study, bed partners rated the snoring of the treated partner after treatment as less than 3 on a ten-point scale.
However, it’s also important to know that somnoplasty results are not permanent. The length of results will vary, but expect them to last about a year in most cases. Then you will have to repeat the procedure to maintain the results.
Somnoplasty does have some significant risks. People might experience a change in voice, have excessive pain, bleeding, infection, or might have a prolonged healing period. Pain, prolonged healing, and more might be related to burns. Sometimes, it’s possible that after somnoplasty, the uvula might not perform its function of keeping liquids out of the nose during swallowing. This is called nasal regurgitation, and it’s considered a relatively rare complication.
Other surgical procedures for snoring that include the uvula, such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), have much higher complication rates. Some studies show overall complication rates as high as 60% for UPPP, or a risk of death as high as 1.5%. If an ENT or otolaryngologist refers you for this type of snoring surgery, get a second opinion. The surgery might be right for you, but it might be an unnecessary risk.