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In many cases, laser surgery for snoring is beneficial, helping a person sleep better while reducing or eliminating the problem of snoring. The good news is that advances in technology have made surgery easier, more convenient, and safer.
Some people who have trouble with snoring find that over-the-counter nasal sprays, drops, and strips help. However, for serious snoring problems, surgery may be needed.
You will find that snoring can be corrected with a number of different surgical procedures. Regardless of the option the doctor and you decide on, the goal is go widen the air passage, specifically where the throat and mouth meet. What happens with snoring is that excessive tissue vibrates as a person breathes in and out through the mouth. The result is a wet snore, which sounds more like gurgling or a dry snore, which is what most people think of when talking about snoring. In both cases, laser surgery would remove this extra tissue, us eliminating any vibration.
One such option for removing excessive tissue is known as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP. In this case, soft tissue in the uvula, or the tissue that hangs down in the back of your throat is removed, along with other soft tissues such as a soft pallet or tonsils. Although UPPP is performed for a number of problems, the most common is snoring. Keep in mind that most doctors think of this particular surgery as a great option for helping a person with snoring but just as with any surgery, some risks should be considered.
For example, in rare occasions, excessive bleeding can be a problem. Other potential risks of UPPP include sore throat and scarring. Although this next risk is seldom reported, there have been instances when a person’s speech is altered, becoming almost nasal-like. Additionally, patients have complained of persisting pain in the throat, although this usually goes away within several weeks to months. Finally, a complication with drinking as been noted in which water goes up into the nose when a person tries to swallow. While risks happen in very few cases, they are things to discuss with your doctor when thinking about UPPP to help with snoring.
For individuals with only slight snoring or sleep apnea problems, Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty or LUAP is another option. In this case, an electric current or laser would be used to remove the uvula and any soft palate. While this has fewer risks and the outcome is generally good, some people have to go through the treatment two or more times for complete snoring relief. Again, you want to work closely with your doctor to determine which type of surgery would be most effective and safe for your particular problem of snoring.