Radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses heat to shrink the tissue of the soft palate, is an effective and minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat patients who snore.
In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers discussed treatment of primary snoring in a prospective trial in a prospective study of 60 patients.
They sought to assess the three-year efficacy and morbidity of combined radiofrequency of the soft palate and partial uvulectomy.
Due to its minimally invasive character, significant improvement of primary snoring (snoring without sleep apnea), and low postoperative complication rates, radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in general has become widespread. Nevertheless, the long-term clinical efficacy of radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in primary snoring was limited.
Compared with the preoperative snoring score, the severity of snoring was reduced after two treatment sessions of combined radiofrequency. Seventy-six percent of the patients were satisfied to receive this operative treatment, after three-year follow-up.
Primary snoring may be an early predictor for people who will eventually develop obstructive sleep apnea. In contrast to obstructive sleep apnea, no generally accepted gold standard is available for the treatment of primary snoring.
The researchers noted that prior to their study long-term research results surrounding radiofrequency surgery of primary snoring were limited. Results of the current study may be able to guide physicians and patients in choosing effective treatment options for snoring.
Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology