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Information on somnoplasty


The purpose of this information is to provide you with generally applicable information about this type of operation. Of course, certain aspects of this document are not applicable in your individual case or should be discussed more or additionally with your surgeon. Don't forget to report to your surgeon all information regarding your general health, as well as any medications you regularly take (especially aspirin and related products, or other medications that may affect clotting).  



In milder forms of snoring, a somnoplasty may be indicated. This involves removing a piece of the soft palate and a piece of the uvula. In addition, the palate is punctured with a needle at several places, using radiofrequency energy, with the aim of tightening the palate. The indication is usually made after performing a sleep endoscopy. Sometimes the sleep endoscopy and the somnoplasty are performed in combination. This was then agreed in advance with the surgeon.


Purpose of the procedure

The procedure shortens the soft palate and causes scarring. This tightens the palate; the palate will be able to vibrate less and so there will be less snoring sound. Sometimes there can be an increase in snoring over time. Then the procedure in which a needle is punctured into the palate to achieve tightening, can be repeated.


Technical aspect of the procedure

The procedure in which the soft palate is shortened is performed under general anesthesia and in a day clinic. Repeating the procedure involving punctures in the palate can be done under local anaesthesia.


Immediate consequences of the procedure

After the procedure, the throat will be sensitive for more than a week. To do this, your doctor will prescribe pain relievers and a topical throat rinse. You should also take into account soft food for one week. In the first weeks there is often an increase in the snoring sound. There may be some temporary reflux through the nose when drinking. You can expect improvement after four to six weeks. Sometimes a hole develops in the palate; it usually closes on its own.

The belated consequences

Over time, there may be an increase in snoring again. A repeat of the lancing in the palate may then be necessary. Very exceptionally, there can be a permanent hole in the palate. Usually this does not require treatment. If necessary, this can be closed surgically afterwards.


Serious and/or exceptional complications

Any surgical procedure, even performed under ideal conditions and in the best possible way, can entail complications. All these risks must be weighed up against the benefits that can normally be expected from an intervention, and it must not be forgotten that “not intervening” can sometimes also have serious consequences.

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