Radiofrequency Palatoplasty for Snoring
Radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new procedure that uses an electrical current to shrink and stiffen the back part of the roof of the mouth (soft palate and uvula). When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate and you are less likely to snore.
What To Expect After Surgery
After the surgery, most people report a little pain, such as a mild sore throat, that lasts 1 or 2 days. Taking acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) usually eases this pain. Radiofrequency palatoplasty is usually performed in a doctor's office, and many people return to work and other regular activities in about 3 days.
Why It Is Done
Radiofrequency palatoplasty is sometimes used to treat snoring in people so that their bed partner can sleep better. One of the most common causes of snoring is the vibration of the soft palate and uvula. Radiofrequency palatoplasty shrinks and stiffens these areas of the mouth, making them less likely to vibrate.
How Well It Works
Compared with other surgery procedures for snoring, radiofrequency palatoplasty is relatively painless and it takes only a short time to recover.1
It takes about 4 weeks after the surgery for you to notice a decrease in your snoring. You may need additional treatments if the first one doesn't decrease your snoring enough.2 Because radiofrequency palatoplasty is a new procedure, how well it works over the long term is not known.
Complications during surgery include accidental damage to surrounding blood vessels or tissues.
Complications after surgery are rare. But complications after surgery may include:
What To Think About
Surgery is rarely used to treat snoring. It may not completely cure snoring, and the risks of surgery may not be worth the small benefit you gain.
If you develop sleep apnea after having radiofrequency palatoplasty, diagnosis may be delayed because you do not snore. Snoring is common with sleep apnea, but most people who snore don't have sleep apnea.
Snoring is not always considered a medical problem, so insurance may not cover treatment.
Before considering surgery, all people who snore should try nonsurgical treatment.
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