At the South West Sleep Clinic we search out and treat underlying health conditions, and offer advice and support on how to reduce snoring. Read more at How to Stop Snoring.
Where non-invasive snoring solutions and lifestyle changes (such as giving up smoking and losing weight) have failed, and when we have confirmed that soft tissue in your mouth is responsible for your disruptive snoring, one option could be surgery.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids (small lumps of tissue, just above your tonsils) can be removed to open up the airway to cure snoring. This operation is more successful if you are of normal weight with a body mass index of less than 30 kg/m2.
The other areas dealt with by surgery are usually the uvula (the dangling piece of tissue at the back of your mouth), the soft palate (just beyond the hard roof of the mouth) and excess tissue around the base of your throat. Please be aware that surgery can be limited in effectiveness and duration, lasting only one or two years and there can be side effects or complications.
Surgery is not immediately considered as a solution for OSA because CPAP is evidently more effective for controlling the condition. However, if all else has failed and OSA is severely affecting your quality of life it can be a final option if you have:
Beyond the surgical snoring solutions mentioned above, severe OSA sufferers might require a tracheostomy, where a tube is inserted directly into the neck to provide a free airway even if the airways in the upper throat are blocked.
Or, for the OSA sufferer who is morbidly or super obese (with a body mass index of 40 or more; 50 – 100% above the ideal body weight) bariatric surgery for weight loss could be the answer. This involves removing part of the stomach or installing a gastric band to reduce its size.
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