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Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Snoring Sleep Apnea

Snoring Treatment

p-iStock_000010422066XSmallChronic snoring affects one in four Americans. While it may seem like a harmless condition, snoring can cause serious physical and emotional complications for patients and their partners. Snoring can cause bed partners to lose significant amounts of sleep and can be a constant source of arguing among couples. On the health front, snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which can cause breathing difficulties and high blood pressure. Treatments for snoring include:


Turbinate Reduction / Coblation Turbinoplasty

Turbinate reduction surgery is a procedure that shrinks the turbinates in order to alleviate chronic nasal congestion and nasal obstruction. The turbinates are small curved bones that extend horizontally along the wall of the nasal passage. Their purpose is to humidify and filter the air that is inhaled through the nose. The inferior turbinate fills the lower portion of the nasal airway and can become very swollen in response to allergies or infections. When a patient’s turbinate is abnormally large and does not respond to traditional therapies such as antihistamines or antibiotics, surgical intervention may be recommended.

During surgery, the turbinate is shrunk through the placement of a surgical probe. Using radiofrequency, the submucosal tissue is vaporized while the muscosal layer is preserved to allow for continued nasal humidification. The procedure is relatively low-risk although it may result in some dryness within the nose. Mild discomfort lasts for about 1-2 days.


Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct defects or deformities of the septum. The nasal septum is the separation between the two nostrils. In adults, it is composed of both cartilage and bone. The nasal septum has three functions: support the nose, regulate air flow, and support the mucous membranes of the nose. A number of medical conditions may indicate a need for the procedure, including nasal air passage obstruction, a deviated septum, tumors, chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds, or the presence of polyps. Additionally, a septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty in order to ensure that the reshaping of the nose does not result in a reduction of the amount of breathing space. Patients who receive septoplasty can usually return home the same day.


p-BEA_048Somnoplasty is a minimally invasive surgical treatment for snoring that removes tissue in the uvula and soft palate. The tissue is removed by releasing low levels of radiofrequency energy to burn away the lining of the soft tissue and eventually shrink its volume. This procedure helps to open up the passageway for air and reduce snoring as a result. Somnoplasty is performed under local anesthesia in our Los Angeles area office, and is generally painless. This procedure helps to treat sleep apnea and feelings of daytime sleepiness, and is very effective in treating snoring.


Pillar® Implants

The Pillar® Procedure is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that is clinically proven to effectively treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is caused by a vibration of tissue in the upper airway. Doctors believe that the soft palate plays a major role in most cases of chronic snoring. The Pillar Procedure places three tiny implants into the soft palate to gradually stiffen it and keep it from constantly vibrating.

This is done through a one-time, minimally invasive procedure that takes about 20 minutes in our Los Angeles area office. The procedure does not remove any tissue and is typically painless with a very low risk of complication. The implants that are used are tiny and safe; most patients report them being unnoticeable within the palate. Most patients and their bed partners reported a decrease in the frequency and intensity of snoring after the Pillar procedure.

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