Surgery for Snoring

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation.

For people with severe snoring problems, it can sometimes feel like there isn’t any way to fix the issue. So when nothing else works, it’s obvious why someone might consider surgery. Which kind of surgery is best? That depends on what is making you snore in the first place. Take a look at some common procedures below.

One type of surgery for snoring focuses on the soft palate on the back of the roof of your mouth. When you snore, that area vibrates, causing the noise. So the idea is that if you make the palate stiffer, there will be fewer vibrations (and therefore less noise). You can opt for radiofrequency palatoplasty, where an electrical current is used to stiffen the soft palate and uvula, or you can implant plastic cylinders into the soft palate, which stops it from vibrating . Both of these options are outpatient procedures that are performed with only local anesthesia, so the recovery is relatively quick.

If tonsils or adenoids are clogging up your airway, you can get those removed by a surgeon. In that situation, you get put under general anesthesia (meaning you completely lose consciousness) and have to recover at home for about a week . If the snoring is caused by a deformity in your nasal passages that stops you from breathing, you can have an operation done on your septum or nasal polyps. These types of procedures are also done in an operating room and require general anesthesia .

If you’re morbidly obese, there’s another option. Gastric bypass surgery may not just help you lose weight, but it's also likely to improve your snoring. That’s because snoring is sometimes caused by extra neck fat, which narrows the airways.

But keep in mind: Just because there are a lot of surgical options to treat snoring doesn’t mean that they are necessarily good choices for you. No surgery is guaranteed to solve snoring and any surgery comes with inherent risks. Also, remember that since snoring isn’t always considered a medical issue, your insurance plan may not pay for surgery to fix it. So be sure to discuss all treatment options with your doctor before making a decision.

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