If you've tried a number of non-invasive treatments for your snoring, but got no relief, it may be time for surgery. Some people snore due to temporary changes in their airway, such as congestion caused by an allergen in the air. You may have anatomical structures that require surgery to let you breathe easier at night. Here are the cases where surgery makes a difference and some of the procedures currently being used.
When Anatomy is the Problem
In the case of congestion due to an allergy, an anti-histamine can be taken to reduce the swelling of the tissues in the airway that block the airflow. When a part of your anatomy is blocking the airway, surgery is needed to modify those tissues so you can get enough air when you breath at night. These anatomical problems include:
- The cartilage in your nose is misshapen and blocks the nasal airways.
- The soft palate in the roof of your mouth is thicker than normal.
- The soft palate extends back into the throat more than normal.
- The tissue in your throat where your tonsils once were has thickened and blocks the airway.
- The small tissue that hangs down in your throat, the uvula, blocks your airway.
Surgical Treatment for Snoring
The goal of each of these procedures is to remove part of the tissue blocking the airway. Depending on your health, some of these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis. Because bleeding into the airway is a risk with each procedure, your doctor may have you stay in the hospital overnight to make sure the bleeding has stopped before sending you home.
- Rhinoplasty - The surgeon reshapes the cartilage in your nose to create straighter airways. This opens up the path between your nostrils and your throat to allow more air to enter without effort.
- Palate surgery for snoring - With this procedure, a small amount of the soft palate is removed to make it less likely to vibrate when your breath goes across it. The surgeon will also shorten the soft palate to prevent it from sticking out too far in your throat and vibrating when you breathe.
- Throat surgery - Some of the tissue on either side of your throat near the tonsils is removed to open up that airway.
- Uvulectomy - Some of the uvula is removed if it has become large enough, or hangs down too far in your throat, to obstruct your airway.
Each of these procedures provides a permanent fix. The condition should not recur, but the change may trigger another cause of your snoring that needs to be addressed. For example, a rhinoplasty to open up your nasal passages allows more air in and can cause a thicker-than-normal soft palate to vibrate now.Share