Surgical relief of snoring due to palatal flutter: a preliminary report

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1993 Jul;75(4):286-90.


We describe our experience in the surgical treatment of 32 patients with severe snoring. In the first 16 patients we used the standard surgical procedure of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPP) but found this unsatisfactory because of its radical nature, complications and uncertain outcome. We therefore investigated the mechanics of snoring in the laboratory as a help in devising a more effective operation. These studies have shown that there are several methods by which snoring can be generated but that palatal flutter is probably the most important. The dominant parameters in the generation of flutter of the palate are its length and stiffness. Any removal of tissue to shorten the palate as in UPP inevitably risks impairing its function, so we chose the stiffening alternative. Using the laser, a central longitudinal strip of mucosa was removed from the surface of the soft palate which healed by fibrosis, producing the required stiffening. The early results of this new procedure show that snoring has been eliminated or greatly reduced in 14 of 16 patients and that apart from local pain there have been no complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Palate, Soft / physiopathology
  • Palate, Soft / surgery*
  • Pharynx / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Snoring / physiopathology
  • Snoring / surgery*
  • Uvula / surgery
  • Vibration