Snoring is a widespread problem affecting nearly half of all American adults at least occasionally. It can interfere with the quality of your sleep, and adversely affect many aspects of your life, from your relationship with your partner to your job performance. It is often an indication of sleep apnea, a disorder with serious health consequences. There are many treatments available for snoring, including a surgical procedure known as coblation palatoplasty.
What is Coblation Palatoplasty?
Coblation palatoplasty is a surgical procedure used to treat snoring and mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea. It is similar in concept to liposuction, and involves reducing the size and thickness of the soft palate and uvula.
The procedure is performed using a local anesthetic in an outpatient setting. Once the back of the mouth is numbed, a needle-like device is inserted into the soft palate and portions of the soft palate and uvula (and in some cases, the tonsils) are removed. Scarring from the operation stiffens the palate, reducing the vibrations associated with snoring.
Afterwards, antibiotics and painkillers are prescribed, and it is recommended that you gargle with saline for about a week following meals in order to keep the wound clean. Physical activity should be limited for a day or two following the procedure. Drink plenty of liquids, and work your way up from soft foods initially. Side effects are rare, but a little minor bleeding may occur in the first 24 hours. There may be some ear pain due to the proximity of a hearing nerve to the area being treated.