The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive palatal implant surgery used for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Small polyester rods are inserted into the soft palate in order to stiffen it and reduce the relaxation and vibration of tissues, the leading cause of snoring.
How the Pillar Procedure Works
Sleep disorders affect an estimated 90 million Americans annually, and habitual snoring is one of the more common complaints. It’s a nuisance that robs you and your partner of quality sleep, and may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can cause serious health problems if left untreated. Many snoring treatments exist, but their effectiveness varies among patients. Those who can’t benefit from medical treatments or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) often find palatal surgery a good alternative.
The Pillar Procedure is a minor surgical procedure generally performed on an outpatient basis with the use of local anesthesia. Three small woven polyester implants are inserted into the muscle that separates the hard and soft palates. The implants, in conjunction with scarring that forms as the tissue heals, provide structural support that reduces the vibration and relaxation of the tissues in the back of the throat responsible for snoring. The entire procedure takes about twenty minutes.
The Pillar Procedure is a safe and effective treatment for snoring, with little risk of complications or side effects. You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection and pain relievers to help with discomfort, but most people are able to resume normal activities within 24 hours. There may be some swelling afterwards, and you might experience a sore throat or have difficulty swallowing, but these symptoms should clear up within a few weeks.