Surgical treatment options to address the soft palate component of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have traditionally involved the scarring or removal of tissue. A minimally invasive option to treat the soft palate is the Pillar Procedure from Medtronic. The table below lists common soft palate procedures for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
|Soft Palate Procedure||Patient Visits||Invasiveness||Post Procedure Pain||Most Likely
Potential Complications / Side Effects
|The Pillar Procedure: Using local anesthetic, the physician uses a specially designed delivery tool to place three tiny implants into the soft palate to support and stiffen the palate. Procedure takes one brief visit to the physician's office.||One||Least
(less than 1%)
|Sclerotherapy. A small amount of a caustic chemical (called a sclerosant) is injected into the soft palate, which burns and destroys soft palate tissues. The destroyed tissue is replaced by scar tissue that stiffens the palate. Local anesthetic is used.||Multiple||Ulceration and breakdown of mucousal membranes||No|
|Radiofrequency (RF) ablation. Relatively low-level heat, generated by radiofrequency energy, is used to destroy soft palate tissue. Local anesthesia is used.||Multiple||Ulceration and breakdown of mucousal membranes||No|
|Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP): The surgeon uses a laser to cut away the uvula, the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of the roof of the mouth. Patient may be under local anesthetic or general anesthesia.||Multiple||Transient velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), a poor seal between the pharynx and soft palate, causing regurgitation of food and water when swallowing and adversely affecting speech.||No|
|Uvulopalato-pharyngoplasty (UPPP) Surgical removal of tissue, which may include the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids and pharynx.||One||Most
|Very High||Post-operative hemorrhage. Transient velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), a poor seal between the pharynx and soft palate, causing regurgitation of food and water when swallowing and adversely affecting speech.||No|
This comparative chart is based upon published literature and is not based upon head-to-head clinical comparisons of the Pillar® System with any other product or treatment modality. The physician and patient must determine if the characteristics and features of the Pillar System are right for them.
Dr. Stephen Colm provides services ranging in dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, extractions and pillar procedure to patients in the following Colorado cities:
Highlands Ranch CO • Centennial CO • Littleton CO • Lakewood CO • Greenwood Village CO • Castle Rock CO
Address: 200 West County Line Road, Suite 230 • Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 • Phone: 303-791-0422
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