Plastic Surgery

“Pillar” procedure for snoring treatment

What is the “Pillar” procedure for snoring treatment?

Snoring during sleep may be a sign, or first alarm, of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring is known to cause sleep deprivation to snorers and those around them, as well as daytime drowsiness, irritability, lack of focus and decreased libido.

The “Pillar” procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

What is the procedure?

The “Pillar” procedure involves surgically placing small polyester rods in the soft palate. Pillar implants are made of a polyester material that has been safely used in implantable medical devices for more than 50 years.

The subsequent healing of tissue around the implants stiffens the soft palate, thereby reducing relaxation and vibration of the tissue.

The procedure typically lasts no more than 30 minutes and is usually done in doctor's office with local anesthesia.

What kind of result can you expect?

As a result of this procedure the soft palate is more rigid, possibly reducing instances of sleep apnea and snoring. This procedure addresses one of the most common causes of snoring and sleep apnea - vibration or collapse of the soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth). If there are other factors contributing to snoring or sleep apnea, such as conditions of the nasal airway or an enlarged tongue, it will likely need to be combined with other treatments to be more effective.

Recovery period and recommendations

Once the anesthetic wears off, a small percentage of patients report feeling a minor “foreign body sensation” after the procedure. This sensation is temporary and should subside and go away within a few days after the procedure.

Some patients use an over-the-counter pain reliever after the “Pillar” procedure, and most are able to resume normal activities and diet the same day. Some patients report a noticeable improvement within weeks, while others may take 8 to 12 weeks to realize the full benefit of the “Pillar” procedure.

Possible side effects and complications

Since the “Pillar” procedure does not involve removing or destroying tissue, the risk of complication is extremely low.

The most frequently reported minor complication is a partial extrusion of an implant. A partial extrusion occurs when the implant is placed too shallow or too deep, and the tip of the implant protrudes through the surface of the soft palate tissue. If a partial extrusion occurs, the physician can remove the implant.

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