Snoring affects a large percentage of Americans, and can range from a mild noise due to seasonal allergies, to highly disruptive and loud snoring. A variety of causes can trigger mild snoring such as nasal congestion, being overweight, or excess alcohol consumption. This can usually be solved with a few natural remedies for snoring.
On the other hand, most disruptive or habitual snoring is due to airways that are obstructed by the soft tissue in the nose, mouth, or throat. This could be due to anatomical abnormalities or poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue. Heavy snoring can contribute to numerous health problems, and can develop into obstructive sleep apnea, which causes a person to stop breathing during the night. While there are many effective stop snoring devices available on the market, often heavy snorers find they need to resort to surgery to fix their problem.
Fortunately, there have been many medical developments that now allow people who suffer from disruptive snoring to reduce or eliminate the problem without enduring an invasive medical procedure.
What is the Pillar Procedure?
The Pillar Procedure is designed to treat chronic snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, two conditions, which if left untreated could have dire consequences for your health. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be carried out in a doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. It has been FDA approved and clinically proven to be an effective treatment for heavy snoring.
The procedure reduces the vibrations in the soft palate that cause snoring by embedding small woven polyester implants into the soft palate. Over time, the body responds to the implants by constructing fibers around the implantation, giving additional structure to the soft palate. This strengthens the tissue, reducing the amount of vibration. This makes the procedure an effective long-term solution for habitual snorers.
Unlike other surgical solutions for snoring, the Pillar Procedure is minimally invasive, and there is no removal of tissue. This means there is very little discomfort or recovery time.
It also does not interfere with everyday activities such as speaking or eating, making it the preferred option for most patients who wish to resume their normal daily activities as soon as possible.
Finally, because of the nature of the procedure, there is often little need for a pain management system after the operation. Most patients can take over-the-counter medication to relieve any discomfort, which usually subsides on its own after a few days.
Questions to Ask Before Considering the Pillar Procedure
What is the Cause of My Snoring?
If you are serious about solving your snoring problems, it is essential you consult with a doctor to determine the source of your snoring. Different parts of the nose, mouth, and throat becoming obstructed can cause snoring.
Unfortunately, if your snoring is due to obstructed nasal passages, the Pillar Procedure is an ineffective solution. However, if your doctor determines your soft palate is the cause, you may be a suitable candidate for the Pillar Procedure.
Other good candidates are people whose snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea. The Pillar procedure has been clinically proven to relieve mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. However, this option should be considered as part of a treatment plan that involves lifestyle changes and other treatment.
How Bad is My Snoring?
Before considering the Pillar Procedure, you should first determine how severe your snoring is. For people whose snoring is seasonal, non-habitual, or less disruptive, you should first consider non-surgical options such as anti-snoring devices or natural remedies. Anti-snoring devices come in a variety of configuration from masks to mandibular devices, depending on the causes of your snoring.
However, if you notice your snoring is severely disrupting the sleep of either yourself or your partner and impacts your life and health negatively, you should consider consulting with your doctor about the Pillar Procedure, because it may be an effective solution for you.
What Results Can I Expect?
Many patients see results as early as three weeks after the operation, though most patients find it can take approximately three months to see the full effect of the procedure.
Clinical studies have shown that following the Pillar Procedure, patients noticed a significant decrease in the intensity of their snoring, as well as less fatigue and daytime sleepiness. As a result, they also experienced noticeable improvements in their lifestyle.
Snoring can range from mild to severely disruptive, and there are many treatments available to choose from. For those people who suffer from severe, habitual snoring, the Pillar Procedure is an effective alternative to invasive and painful surgeries.
You might find that the Pillar Procedure, combined with an anti-snoring mouthpiece or pillow, might solve your snoring problem.
Before you consider any course of treatment for your snoring, you should first consult with your doctor, who will determine the cause and severity of your snoring, and help you better decide whether the Pillar Procedure is for you.