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What is Snoring Surgery?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Snoring surgery is a surgical procedure which is designed to eliminate or greatly reduce snoring in a patient. It is typically treated as a method of last resort, as there are many other approaches to chronic snoring which can be used first. In patients with a persistent snoring problem, this surgery can make a huge difference, both socially and medically. Patients should be aware that most insurance companies treat snoring surgery as elective or cosmetic in nature, and therefore they will not pay for it.

A number of procedures fall under the blanket term “snoring surgery.” In all cases, the goal of the procedure is to eliminate extra tissue, poorly-positioned anatomical structures, or deposits of soft tissue which can flap or vibrate. By changing the architecture of the mouth and throat, a surgeon can remove structures which contribute to snoring, making a patient a quiet sleeper. In the process, the patient's breathing may also improve, as the airway will be much more open after the surgery.

In uvulopalatpharyngoplasty, the surgeon takes extra tissue out of the back of the throat. This can include the uvula, tonsils, and adenoids. As an alternative to an invasive surgery, the tissue in the back of the throat can be hardened with a series of injections so that it will not vibrate as the patient sleeps. Other surgeries can be used to reposition the jaw or tongue to promote a sleeping position which will reduce snoring and open up the airway.

If snoring is caused by defects in the nose, such as a deviated septum, surgeries can be used to correct the nose to address a snoring problem. In all cases, the snoring surgery usually requires at least one night in the hospital for recovery, and the patient can experience significant discomfort in the case of major procedures such as jaw repositioning.

There are some things about snoring surgery which patients should be aware of. The surgery does not always work in all patients, which can be a disappointment, and it also does not address apneas. If someone's snoring is associated with a sleep apnea, other methods of medical treatment should be utilized to ensure that the apnea is dealt with. Apneas can be life threatening if they are not treated, which makes snoring surgery a dangerous option for patients with apneas. Sometimes, snoring may be related to factors like sleeping position, weight, and bed design, which is why it is important to pursue multiple avenues of snoring treatment before turning to surgery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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