Snoring is a sound produced by vibration of the soft tissues of the upper airway during sleep and is indicative of increased upper airway resistance. Studies estimate that 45% of men and 30% of women snore on a regular basis. It can affect not only the snorer's sleep but also the sleep of a spouse or other family members nearby. Snoring also may be a sign of a more serious health condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), characterized by a repetitive stopping or slowing of breathing that can occur hundreds of times through the night. Most patients who snore should receive a comprehensive sleep evaluation, by a trained physician, that often includes sleep testing either done in the home or sleep laboratory. Surgery for snoring is a treatment of last resort and should only be considered if the simple non-surgical alternatives have been tried (and failed). Some ENT surgeons advocate sleep nasendoscopy before surgery is undertaken to determine the level of obstruction. Here the patient is sedated to a state of sleep. The surgeon can then examine the upper airway through a narrow flexible endoscope to see where the collapsing is occurring. There are four basic surgical procedures for snoring surgery that are Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Laser-assisted uvuloplatoplasty (LAUP), Platal stiffening operations (CAPSO), Radio-frequency ablation (Somnoplasty). Other procedures are Injection Snoreplasty, Septoplasty and Pillar Procedure. Surgery is rarely used to treat snoring or stop snoring. It may not completely cure snoring, and the risks of surgery may not be worth the small benefit you gain.
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