If you are one of the 70% of the population who snores, you may have tried many over-the-counter stop snoring aids and devices and found them to be inadequate in reducing or eliminating your snoring.
Many commercially available stop snoring devices do work - but only for a minority of snorers. For heavy snorers and those suffering from sleep apnea a more permanent medical solution is often required.
If your doctor recommends medical intervention to cure your snoring one of the most effective methods is laser surgery for snoring.
Surgical Options To Stop Snoring
Under most circumstances stop snoring surgery is usually only considered as a last resort and only after mechanical methods such as chin straps, mouth guards and anti-snoring pillows have been found to be ineffective. However, in severe cases of snoring, surgery may be called for and it is commonly performed on people with a larger than usual amount of soft tissue blocking their airway.
A longer than normal uvula - the triangular or pear shaped piece of flesh that hangs from the roof of the mouth above the throat - is often the cause of snoring. Laser surgery can be performed on the uvula to shorten it and reduce the chances of it blocking the airway during sleep.
Laser surgery for snoring (known as laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or LAUP) is commonly performed under local anesthetic. During the procedure the tissue of the uvula and the soft palate is scarred by burning with a laser. This causes the area to stiffen which will prevent it from collapsing into the airway during sleep. Sometimes the tonsils and adenoids are also removed during surgery.
As a stand alone procedure for snoring LAUP does not have a high success rate with statistics suggesting that it is only effective in about 40 percent of patients.
A less invasive technique than uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is radio frequency tissue ablation, also known as somnoplasty. This is designed to shrink the tissue of the soft palate and can be performed under local anesthetic. It usually results in fewer complications and it is considered to be less painful than other options, although the snorer often requires several treatments.