If your tongue, throat, jaw, or nose has a flawed structure, you may want to consider surgery to stop your snoring.
But there is always a risk of infections and complications.
It should be your last resort after you have exhausted all your options, such as home remedies and oral appliances.
Get an overall picture of various surgical methods available.
You can then weigh the pros and cons to decide if this is the path you want to take.
How Successful Is Snoring Surgery?
The effectiveness of each surgical operation varies.
Look at some of the stats below.
If you’re considering laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), it has impressive records.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is considered a popular and well-received surgical procedure to eliminate snoring and treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Reports on the efficacy of the snoring procedure were promising, with a clinical success rate ranging from 70% to 95%.Source
Laser surgery will only address your snoring problem by reducing the sound’s intensity by up to 70%. Laser surgery is not a cure for sleep apnea. It does not eliminate all your snoring problems, either.Source
Of thousands of patients treated by Dr. Madani since 1992, over 95% have reported an average snoring reduction of 50-75% with stable results even 10 years after LAUP surgery.Source
Unfortunately, you may snore again after performing uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).
UPPP is often effective in reducing snoring initially. Over the long term, it cures snoring in 46% to 73% of those who have had this surgery.Source
Sleep apnea improves at first for about half of the people who have UPPP. Over time, the benefit wears off for many people.Source
Short-term results for UPPP are effective, but long-term studies indicate a drop in effectiveness.Source
Take a look at snoring operations at better success rate!
Tracheotomy can be 100% effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. But this is also the most drastic option. It is only considered as a last resort.Source
Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) is the most effective and acceptable surgical treatment of sleep apnea, with success rates ranging from 94 to 100 percent.Source
Snoring is reduced in up to 80% of patients treated with somnoplasty.Source
According to BritishSnoring, surgery may not end your snoring if
- you have a deep oropharynx. It’s a condition where the sidewalls tend to collapse towards each other.
- you gain weight after your surgery, especially around the neck area.
You can prevent snoring without surgery. Having a hard time adjusting to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks? Or struggling mild or moderate sleep apnea? Find out how an oral device like an anti-snoring mouthguard may help.
For an effective stop snoring surgery, you must know why you snore.
You should talk to your doctor first about the treatment options.
Your doctor will review your symptoms and your medical history.
To rule out obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you usually need an overnight sleep study or polysomnogram.
If you stop breathing more than 100 times during the sleep study, the diagnosis will show that you have OSA.
Surgery To Stop Snoring: Your Options
ENT specialists often offer laser surgery with a local anesthetic to correct the snoring’s anatomic cause, such as nose, throat, tongue, and jaw.
- Office-based procedure
- Uses microwaves to shrink the tissue inside your nose, opening up your nose for airflow.
- A sclerosing solution can also be injected into the nose.
- It straightens a deviated nasal septum that obstructs the airflow through the nostrils.
- It is an outpatient procedure. You can return home after surgery.
- To avoid reduced breathing space after reshaping your nose, you may need a rhinoplasty.
- You may experience bleeding, swelling, bruising, or discoloration during recovery.
- Uses radio frequency to remove large turbinates and polyps, relieving a blocked nose.
- It requires local anesthetic on the nose to minimize any pain.
- It increases the effectiveness of CPAP therapy.
The surgery for snoring focuses on the soft palate.
You can find it on the roof of your mouth.
When the soft palate vibrates, it causes snoring.
By making the palate stiffer, it vibrates lesser. Therefore less noise.
Each surgical procedure of the soft palate comes with the potential for adverse side effects, including throat swelling, nasal reflux of air during speech and fluid during drinking. Throat swelling usually occurs immediately after surgery.Source
For mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or severe snoring.
- It’s a hospital-based procedure.
- It requires general anesthetics.
- It trims excess tissues from the soft palate. It should widen your upper airway for improved airflow. Thus, it reduces snoring.
- It may remove enlarged tonsils, adenoids, and floppy uvula.
- Since more air can flow through the throat, you breathe better. It can help if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
- It can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to heal.
Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
For mild or moderate sleep apnea. No success with PAP, lifestyle changes, and anti-snoring products.
- It’s an office-based surgery.
- It removes part or all of the uvula and some tissues of the soft palate using a laser.
- The remaining tissue of the palate stiffens.
- Not recommended as a stand-alone treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
- No serious side-effects. The post-surgical pain lasts 2.5 days on average.
- It may take 3 or 4 outpatient visits to complete the treatment.
Weight gain after surgery can make you snore again.
- It’s a non-surgical treatment.
- It is done in the office and under local anesthesia.
- You can walk out 15 minutes later.
- Your doctor will inject sodium tetradecyl sulfate into the soft palate.
- The inflammation and scar tissue will stiffen the palate, reducing snoring.
- It doesn’t cost as much as other surgical methods.
- It requires little to no recovery time.
- Sometimes, for the best results, you need multiple jabs.
Radiofrequency Surgery (Somnoplasty)
For mild to moderate sleep apnea
- It’s an office-based procedure performed under local anesthesia.
- It uses low-temperature radiofrequency heat to stiffen portions of the soft palate.
- As the soft palate shrinks, more air can pass through the airway, reducing snoring.
- Depending on the severity of your snoring, you may need repeated treatments.
- Since the procedure doesn’t affect the delicate lining of the palate, it is painless. And you enjoy a quick recovery.
Palatal Pillar Implants
- Under a local anesthetics, your surgeon inserts small implants (about the size of rice) into the soft palate tissue.
- It prevents the collapse of the soft palate into the throat while sleeping. With reduced vibration, you snore less.
- The procedure takes less than 30 minutes to complete.
- It has been around for about a decade.
- It takes about 90 days to see the full results of the implants.
- You may experience post-surgical complications such as a temporary sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
- Sometimes, the tip of an implant can protrude through the soft palate tissue. If that happens, ask your doctor to remove or replace it.
- You don’t need to repeat treatments.
- It’s not recommended for people who have severe OSA or who are significantly overweight.
- It reduces the tissues at the back of the tongue, opening the airway.
- You need to attend several treatments over some time.
- After each treatment, the scars on the tongue takes a few weeks to heal.
Genioglossus Muscle Advancement Procedure With Hyoid Myotomy
- It requires a hospital stay.
- It shortens the muscles that attach your lower jaw to your tongue. As your tongue pulls forward, your snoring should stop.
- It also moves your hyoid bone (supports the tongue muscles) forward.
Trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS)
- For moderate to severe OSA patients
- Cause of snoring: base of the tongue
- Improves access to the tongue base area
Maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA)
For severe sleep apnea
- Maxillomandibular osteotomy (MMO) cuts your jawbones to realign your jaw.
- Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) creates a larger airway by moving the upper and lower jaws.
- Your doctor will likely wire your jaw shut following MMO.
- You can only take a liquid diet during the recuperation.
- It takes a few months to heal.
Oral & Maxillofacial surgery
- For severe sleep apnea patients
- Cause of snoring: nose, palate, and base of the tongue
- the advancement of both the upper and lower jaw to correct airway obstruction at all levels
Other Stop Snoring Surgeries
Anterior Inferior Mandibular Osteotomy With Hyoid Suspension
- It’s an outpatient procedure.
- It involves a chin bone osteotomy.
- It pulls your tongue forward to enlarge the air passage.
- It’s not as effective as MMA.
- Your bite remains the same.
- Your jaw doesn’t have to be wired shut.
- A small opening is made in the windpipe in the lower part of the neck.
- A special type of tube is inserted to keep the hole open at night.
- You breathe through this hole as you sleep. This bypasses the entire upper airway.
- Your breathing is not obstructed. The small opening and tube can be capped or closed when you are awake. This allows daytime breathing and speech to be normal.
Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation
It employs a stimulus applied to the nerve that controls the forward movement of the tongue, so the tongue does not block the airway when you take a breath.Source
Weight Loss Surgery
For: morbidly obese patients with sleep apnea. About 100-125 pounds or more over your ideal body weight.
Losing a large amount of excess weight can help open up your airway. Talk to your doctor first to see if this might be a good choice for you.Source
It is a relatively safe procedure. It selectively removes excessive fatty tissue below the chin and anterior neck to reduce the weight against underlying soft tissues. Liposuction also helps minimize airway collapse behind the tongue base. It is usually in combination with other surgical procedures.Source
Talk openly with your doctor and sleep specialist about your surgical options.
Find out the risks and benefits of each surgery.
Don’t rush into making a decision before you understand your options.
There is no 100% success with surgery.
It may not work. And even if it reduces your snoring, it may become less effective gradually.