Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and laser pharyngotomy can provide effective and definitive cure of snoring. These methods are however very painful. The ideal treatment would be not only effective but also pain free.
Material and methods: We assessed prospectively the efficacy and tolerance to temperature controlled radiofrequency (somnoplasty). This technique was applied to the velar palate in 15 snoring patients. Self assessment was used to evaluate outcome. The patients daily recorded: uneasiness, pain, drug use, and food intake. Their spouse scored snoring for 6 to 8 weeks after the end of treatment and more than 6 months after the last treatment session.
Results: We achieved 80% success after 2.1 sessions. Pain was minimal. A sensation of uneasiness was frequent and led to minimal drug use. After a mean 13 months, half of the patients experienced a recurrence or an aggravation of their snoring level. Overall satisfaction rate was 69%.
Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that radiofrequency is well tolerated and effective in the short- and mid-term for the treatment of snoring.