Barbed snore surgery for concentric collapse at the velum: The Alianza technique

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2017 Nov;45(11):1794-1800. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2017.08.007. Epub 2017 Aug 14.


Recently, new conservative and non-resective surgical techniques, including palatopharyngeal surgical lifting and suspension (the 'Roman blinds technique') and modular barbed snore surgery (MBSS), have been successfully introduced for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). This pilot longitudinal study describes our preliminary experience with the 'Alianza technique' (the simultaneous use of Roman blinds and MBSS) in mild to moderate OSAS patients with concentric pharyngeal collapse at the velum, previously documented by means of drug-induced sleep endoscopy. Effectiveness of the surgical procedure was assessed by means of the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS), overnight polysomnography, and a 0-10 snoring visual analogue scale (VAS); tolerability was assessed by means of a 0-10 pain VAS. The final analysis relating to 19 patients (18 males; 94.8%), with a mean age of 43.8 ± 8.8 years, showed a statistically significant reduction in mean post-operative apnea-hypopnea indexes (22.3 ± 5.1 vs 7.0 ± 9.4 events/hour; p-value = 0.002) and mean ESS scores (11.3 ± 5.4 vs 3.9 ± 4.0; p-value < 0.001). There was also a significant decrease in mean post-operative snoring VAS scores (9.5 ± 0.7 vs 2.1 ± 1.7; p-value < 0.001). Surgery was well tolerated in most patients (mean pain VAS scores on day seven: 2.4 ± 1.4), and there were no major complications. In experienced hands, the Alianza can be considered an effective and safe technique for the treatment of mild to moderate OSAS.

Keywords: OSAS; Pharynx; Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Palate, Soft / physiopathology
  • Palate, Soft / surgery*
  • Pharynx / surgery
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Snoring / etiology
  • Snoring / prevention & control*