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.