For many, snoring is caused by the vibration of tissue in the back of the mouth and the throat. During sleep, this tissue stretches and droops, thus reducing the size of the airway and obstructing breathing. Researchers that found they could diminish this vibration and obstruction by increasing the rigidity of the soft palate (roof of the mouth). The procedure developed, called the Pillar Procedure, is performed by Dr. Sergio Vendetti.
Performed in the office, the Pillar Procedure involves implanting three small, woven inserts into the soft palate. These implants stiffen and support the soft palate and keep it from drooping during sleep. No drooping means no vibration, and no vibration means drastically reduced snoring or no snoring at all.
The implants are approximately 3/4″ long and are made of a polyester-type material that has been used safely in sutures and implants for over 50 years. The implants are designed to be invisible and don’t interfere with speaking or swallowing.
Most patients notice a significant improvement in their sleep in four to six weeks.
The Pillar Procedure is a simple, effective treatment for sleep apnea and snoring.
The Pillar Procedure for snoring and sleep apnea is:
- Less invasive and less painful than other surgical procedures
- Completed in a single, short office visit
- FDA-cleared and clinically proven, with results comparable to more aggressive surgical procedures
Most patients soon report a drastic reduction in snoring. In clinical studies, almost 80% of patients’ sleep apnea was reduced. Patients also experienced less daytime sleepiness.
The Pillar Procedure addresses one of the anatomical components of sleep apnea and snoring: the Soft Palate
During the Pillar Procedure, Dr. Vendetti implants (see picture above) in the soft palate to help reduce the vibration that causes snoring and the ability of the soft palate to obstruct the airway. Once in place, the implants add structural support to the soft palate and, over time, the body’s natural tissue response to the inserts increases the structural integrity of the soft palate.
Pillar implants are made of material safely used in implantable medical devices and sutures for over 50 years. They are designed to be invisible, and should not be felt or interfere with swallowing or speech. Most patients resume normal diet and activities the same day.
CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO STOP SNORING TODAY!!!
The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.
Forty-five percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25 percent are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and those who are overweight, and it usually grows worse with age. Snoring is often worse when a person sleeps on his back. Some devices reposition the lower jaw forward; some open nasal air passages; a few others have been designed to condition a person not to snore by producing unpleasant stimuli when snoring occurs.
Is Snoring Serious?
Yes, both socially and medically. Snoring can cause embarrassment and disrupt the sleep of loved ones, many of whom choose to sleep separately from their partner. This can cause immense strain on a relationship. But snoring is also a medical issue, because it disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of appropriate rest. When snoring is severe, it can cause serious, long-term health problems, including obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When loud snoring is interrupted by episodes of obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience more than 100 such events per hour. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.
The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep his muscles tense in order to maintain airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he may be sleepy during the day, which can impair job performance and make him a hazardous driver or equipment operator. After many years with this disorder, elevated blood pressure and heart enlargement may occur.
People Who Snore May Suffer From:
- Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat. When muscles are too relaxed, either from alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness, the tongue falls backwards into the airway or the throat muscles draw in from the sides into the airway. This can also happen during deep sleep.
- Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue. Children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore. Overweight people have bulky neck tissue, too. Cysts or tumors can also cause bulk, but they are rare.
- Long soft palate and/or uvula. A long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. As it dangles, it acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing. A long uvula makes matters even worse.
- Obstructed nasal airways. A stuffy or blocked nose requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat, and pulls together the floppy tissues of the throat, and snoring results. So, snoring often occurs only during the hay fever season or with a cold or sinus infection.
- Deformities of the nose or nasal septum, such as a deviated septum (a deformity of the wall that separates one nostril from the other) can cause such obstruction.
Can Heavy Snoring be Cured?
Heavy snorers, those who snore in any position or are disruptive to the family, should seek medical advice to ensure that sleep apnea is not a problem. Dre Vendetti will provide a thorough examination of the nose, mouth, throat, palate, and neck. A sleep study (either in a laboratory environment or at home) may be necessary to determine how serious the snoring is and to determine if the patient has sleep apnea.
Self-Help for the Light Snorer
- Adults who suffer from mild or occasional snoring should try the following self-help remedies:
- Adopt a healthy and athletic lifestyle to develop good muscle tone and lose weight.
- Avoid tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before retiring.
- Establish regular sleeping patterns
- Sleep on your side rather than your back.
- Tilt the head of your bed upwards four inches
Downloads about Snoring
- Sleep Questionaire
- How to talk to your bed partner about snoring
- Pillar Patient Brochure
- What to expect
Reprinted with permission of Medtronic, Inc. All rights reserved.