Harley Street Sleep Clinic

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Sleeping disorders are reported in more than one in five adults; these can include snoring and insomnia. Harley Street clinics offer a range of treatments for these problems.

Somnoplasty

Snoring is first and foremost an irritating problem that can compromise relationships, but it can also lead to a number of diseases. Harley Street clinics offer somnoplasty: a low intensity radio frequency signal is transmitted to remove part of the soft palate. This greatly reduces snoring and is a quick and relatively painless procedure. Somnoplasty is also used to treat chronic nasal obstruction, targeting the turbinates (bone shelves protruding into the nose’s breathing passage), greatly improving the patient’s breathing. It is also effective in treating OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea), a disorder which manifests itself in pauses in breathing during sleep. In this case the radio frequencies target the base of the tongue and other problematic airway structures to eliminate the problem.

Laser assisted uvuloplasty (LAUP)

The uvula is a projection of mostly connective tissue located at the back of the soft palate. It can be responsible for OSA and snoring difficulties. A technically demanding procedure, it uses a laser to remove the uvula and thus clear up some of the problems associated with it. Harley Street doctors only offer this if they are fully trained and experienced in its usage, and they will discuss the finer details of the operation with the patient before undertaking it.

Corrective nasal airway surgery

Nasal airway surgery helps improve the quality of the patient’s breathing. There are two processes involved – septoplasty to deal with a deviated septum (the structure dividing the naval cavity into left and right) and turbinatoplasty, another corrective procedure aimed at the turbinates. Under anaesthetic, incisions are made in the affected areas in order to reduce and correct their sizes. Both processes are usually performed in combination to maximise the effects. Typically recovery time lasts between 3 and 7 days.

Tonsillectomy/uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

A tonsillectomy involves surgically removing the tonsils, either by scalpel, laser or electrocautery. The most appropriate process for the individual is offered by Harley Street clinics. Any bleeding is stopped by a number of methods – electrocautery can also be used for this purpose. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) aims to remove tissues in the throat in order to improve the patient’s breathing. This is done by manually cutting away tissues and is a highly technical procedure, often contrasted with LAUP; there is not however sufficient evidence to suggest either is a successful treatment for sleeping difficulties.

Continuous positive airways pressure ventilation (CPAP)

This process is primarily aimed at counteracting OSA. It can either be used at home or overnight in the hospital. CPAP uses a respirator and works by affixing a mask to the patient’s face. The air pressure is carefully selected in order to maintain constant breathing while preventing OSA and other sleeping problems, such as snoring. Harley Street clinics offer this at home and in situ.

Risks

Laser-assisted uvuloplasty can however worsen certain problems, particularly OSA. UPPP can cause a myriad of side-effects, though these will be run through with the doctor before the operation; they can include infection and narrowing of the airways.

Advantages of Harley Street sleep clinics

Harley Street sleep clinics are aware of all the potential complications and will not operate without having fully discussed the procedure and its risks with the patient. They are careful to select the best possible treatment for the patient and can boast higher levels of success than the average. Only the most trained doctors are allowed to undertake these sometimes complex procedures, and in all cases the technology is the most up-to-date available.


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