Snoring treatment

What is snoring?

Snoring is when a person makes a snorting noise caused by vibrations in the mouth, nose or throat, during sleep. It has three grades:

Grade One - Infrequent snoring that is not particularly loud and does not disrupt breathing.

Grade Two - Regular snoring with associated breathing difficulties that can affect the quality of sleep.

Grade Three - Snoring every night that may well be related to obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

What does treatment involve?

As well as a number of anti-snoring devices that patients can request from their GPs, there are a variety of surgical options carried out by our consultant ENT Surgeons:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) - removal of soft tissue from the mouth, including the uvula, soft palate and excess tissue at the base of the throat. This procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, and completely cures around half of the people who undergo it
  • Uvulopalatoplasty (UP) - carries a lower risk than UPPP, but is not as effective. The procedure uses lasers or high energy radio waves to remove the uvula and other soft tissue
  • Soft palate implants - this procedure uses injections to stiffen the soft palate, stopping it vibrating when during sleep and thus preventing snoring
  • Radiofrequency ablation - this procedure hardens the soft palate using an electrode which delivers high frequency radio waves, producing the same effect

When will I recover?

The procedures may be painful for the two to three days after discharge, yet full recovery should take less than a month.

What risks should I know about?

UPPP can cause considerable pain afterwards, which can sometimes persist for up to three weeks. It should also be considered that removing your uvula can affect your ability to pronounce certain sounds. The procedures carry the general risks associated with surgery under general anaesthetic, such as infection, DVT, nerve damage and continued pain.

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