Managing disturbing snoring with palatal implants: a pilot study

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004 Jun;130(6):753-8. doi: 10.1001/archotol.130.6.753.


Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of polyethylene terephthalate implants in the soft palate to modify disturbing snoring.

Design: Interventional study, before-after trial.

Setting: Referral center, institutional practice, hospitalized care.

Patients: Twelve consecutive patients with disturbing snoring and an apnea-hypopnea index less than 15 per hour and a body mass index of 30 or less were recruited. One patient with no adverse effects was lost to follow-up. Extrusion of implants occurred in 2 patients. Complete data in 9 patients were available for analysis.

Intervention: Polyethylene terephthalate implants were inserted in the soft palate.

Main outcome measures: Safety of the procedure and evaluation of the loudness of snoring by bed partners using a visual analog scale.

Results: There were no complications of infection or bleeding. Extrusion of implants occurred in 2 patients with no clinical sequelae. The mean (SD) loudness of snoring at baseline, as assessed by bed partners using a visual analog scale of 0 to 100, was 79 (17.2). This significantly decreased to 48 (20.4) at 3 months (Wilcoxon signed rank test, P =.008). Daytime sleepiness as measured with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale also decreased from an average score of 8.9 at baseline to 5.7 at 3 months (P =.007). There were no significant changes in the apnea-hypopnea index and body mass index from baseline to 3 months' follow-up.

Conclusions: Polyethylene terephthalate implants in the soft palate are safe. Snoring decreased significantly at 3 months after surgery. Polyethylene terephthalate implants in the soft palate should be further explored as a treatment for snoring.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palate, Soft / pathology
  • Palate, Soft / surgery*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates
  • Prostheses and Implants* / adverse effects
  • Snoring / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Polyethylene Terephthalates