Snoring and sleep apnea are very common conditions that potentially can be very serious and life-threatening if left untreated. Sometimes it is difficult for the surgeon to differentiate between the two, requiring further sleep studies to confirm the diagnosis. Today, many fine treatments are available to treat these conditions.
Our practice is proud to offer the latest technology in the treatment of snoring.
Restore Medical Inc. has developed the PillarTM Palatal Implant System, a new solution for snoring treatment (www.pillarprocedure.com). The implant consists of three pieces of polyester yarn less than an inch long. Designed to be permanent, they are inserted into the soft palate on the roof of the mouth. They prompt the tissue to stiffen and in turn reduce the “flutter” which is the main culprit in the snoring sound. The inserts are carefully designed to provide these effects without adversely affecting normal palate function.
This system is more advanced than many other procedures because it does not involve heating or removing tissue, which minimizes swelling and post-procedure pain. It is retrievable as well which provides patients and their physicians flexibility for other treatment options in the future. Most patients can resume normal activities and diet shortly after this ten minute procedure.
The Pillar Procedure is:
- Less invasive and less painful than other surgical procedures
- Completed in a single, short office visit
- FDA-cleared and clinically proven, with results comparable to more aggressive surgical procedures
Are you a candidate for this new snore implant?
If you are currently on CPAP or have moderate to severe sleep apnea, there is a good chance you will not benefit from this new procedure. Your best option may be a laser procedure or orthognathic (Jaw) surgery. The snore implant is designed to help alleviate snoring for those patients who have just enough tissue in the back of their throat to cause snoring. This new procedure is not a treatment for sleep apnea.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration. Falling asleep while driving is not uncommon.
Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms. The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons offer consultation and treatment options. In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctor can ascertain the level of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor individuals overnight.
There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night. One of the surgical options is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is sometime done with the assistance of a laser and is called a Laser Assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUP). In other cases, a radio-frequency probe is utilized to tighten the soft palate.
Studies have shown that the most successful cures for obstructive sleep apnea include treatment with Orthognathic Surgery. In these more complex cases, the bones of the upper and lower jaw are repositioned to permanently increase the size of the airway. This procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia and requires 1 to 2 days overnight stay in the hospital.
OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.