Swan LogoWhat is Injection Snoreplasty?

Injection snoreplasty is a simple office procedure where a sclerosing agent is injected directly into the soft palate.  The soft palate is the area in your mouth that includes the uvula (the soft dangling structure you see hanging from the roof of your mouth), and the soft parts just above and to the sides of the uvula.  The word "sclerosing" means hardening, so the agent that is injected causes the soft palate to get harder.  When the soft palate is harder, it does not flutter as much and the fluttering is what causes some types of snoring.

How does it work?

When the sclerosing agent is injected into the soft palate, it causes those tissues to react and form scarring that make the soft palate harder.  This reaction takes 4-8 weeks to be complete after you receive the injection.

What sclerosing agent it used?

The agent, called sodium tetradecyl sulfate, has been used as a sclerosing agent for many years, and has an excellent safety record.

Who could benefit from this treatment?

This procedure, along with weight loss and exercise, can reduce simple snoring.  For those who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (a condition where the person stops breathing for periods of time while sleeping) other procedures may be necessary.

How can the Doctor tell if you would benefit from this procedure?

You would first have an office visit to discuss your snoring with the Doctor.  He or she will then look inside your nose and mouth and use a soft, thin, flexible telescope to examine the area below your tongue down to your voicebox (the larynx).  This is a painless procedure. You will then be scheduled for an overnight sleep test.  This test measures your breathing and oxygen levels while you sleep.  The Doctor may have you take a simple device home for this test, or may schedule a more detailed sleep study that is done overnight in the hospital.

What can you expect if you have the injection snoreplasty?

Usually 2 injections are required to get the best result.  These are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart.  The procedure only takes a few minutes and is done right in the exam room.  Most people experience minimal to mild discomfort.  The most common reaction is to" feel like something is stuck there" where the injection is given. This sensation can last for days to a couple of weeks.  Your activities don't have to be restricted and you will be able to return to work the next day.  However, if your job requires alot of speaking, you may be more comfortable to stay home for a day or two.  Tylenol and throat lozenges will help with discomfort and cool foods and fluids such as popcicles help reduce swelling.  You should avoid hot and spicy food and drink.  Keeping the head of your bed elevated will also be helpful the first few days.

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John M. O'Day, M.D., F.A.C.S. Marjorie K. Stock, M.D. ,F.A.C.S.
William E. Long, Hearing Instrument Specialist
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