Radio-Frequency Ablation or Somnoplasty for Snoring


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A relatively new procedure, Radio-frequency Ablation is often referred to as Somnoplasty, and uses radio waves to reduce the size of soft palate tissue, without causing as much discomfort as UPPP, CAPSO or LAUP. The surgery involves piercing the throat, tongue or soft palate with a needle containing a radio frequency generator which heats the inner tissue of the area, scarring it beneath the outer skin layer. While the internal tissue shrinks the outer layer remains undamaged. Somnoplasty normally takes around 30 minutes to complete and occurs under local anaesthetic in an outpatient’s office. Once the cells in the affected area are destroyed they are reabsorbed by the body, and the affected area is stiffened, reducing the likelihood of turbulence. Radio-frequency treatment normally cost in the region of £1,000 depending upon the clinic that you attend.

Side-Effects of Somnoplasty

Somnoplasty is preferred to UPPP, CAPSO and LAUP because of its less invasive nature and the relatively speedy recovery time (only a few days after). Like LAUP though the procedure often requires a snorer to return for multiple sessions, the upside being that it is regarded as a considerably less painful operation.

Benefits of Somnoplasty

Somnoplasty, unlike other invasive surgeries, uses a more accurate and thus less damaging form of equipment that generates heat, using radio frequency. Surgeons are able to use this method to more accurately control their movements and reduce the side effects of the surgery, and complications thereafter. The surgery is also a one-off procedure taking approximately 30 minutes conducted under local anaesthetic, meaning recovery and release time is a lot quicker.


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