SAN DIEGO – Scientists have suggested a novel, minimally invasive procedure that may help treat patients who snore.
They said that radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses heat to shrink the tissue of the soft palate, could be an effective treatment option for snoring.
In the study conducted over the period of three years, the team assessed the efficacy and morbidity of combined radiofrequency of the soft palate and partial uvulectomy in 60 patients.
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.
However, the long-term clinical efficacy of radiofrequency surgery of the soft palate in primary snoring was limited.
The study showed that 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 findings were presented at American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO in San Diego.