Objectives: This study aims to investigate the long-term efficiency and reliability of the Pillar Implant (PI) procedure.
Patients and methods: Between January 2008 and January 2010, a total of 27 patients (16 males, 11 females; mean age 45.8±7.2 years; range 31 to 58 years) who were diagnosed with low obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and simple snoring underwent the PI procedure in this retrospective, nonrandomized study. The patients were evaluated preoperatively with visual analog scale (VAS) scores in terms of snoring, dysphagia, mouth dryness, foreign body sensation, and pain at the first month, third month, and sixth year intervals.
Results: Based on the snoring scale, VAS scores were statistically significantly lower in the first month, third month and sixth year compared to preoperative scores (p=0.001, p=0.008, p=0.017, respectively). There was no pain in any patients beyond the third day. The VAS score averages in all evaluations were higher by statistical significance relative to the preoperative averages (p=0.018, p=0.027, p=0.025, respectively). Mouth dryness was encountered in seven patients. It persisted in seven patients at the third month and in five patients at the sixth year interval. The VAS score averages were statistically significantly higher in all evaluations compared to the preoperative scores (p=0.017, p=0.018, p=0.042, respectively).
Conclusion: Pillar implant is an efficient, reliable method in the long-term; however, it should be considered that it could cause complaints such as dysphagia, foreign body sensation, and mouth dryness.