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Stopping the Buzzsaw with the Pillar Procedure

Snoring seems harmless enough. When you were a kid you probably felt as if your Dad’s snoring was lifting the roof of the house with every breath. Usually, it is harmless, just annoying to anyone in range. But sometimes it points to a more serious health issue, sleep apnea. At eos sleep, one of Dr. Volpi’s treatments for snoring and sleep apnea is a minor surgery called the Pillar® Procedure.

What causes a person to snore?

Snoring is the sound created by vibrations of the soft palate when breathing is partially obstructed during sleep. The obstruction is usually soft tissue in the throat. When air flows past it, the soft tissue vibrates, which generates noise from the mouth or nose.

When a person sleeps, a partially blocked airway is usually behind the snoring. These are common reasons for the throat muscles and tissue to create that blockage:

  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Tonsillitis
  • Mouth or jaw abnormalities

If the person’s soft palate tissues collapse further, this can lead to the total blockage that is sleep apnea.

What is the Pillar® Procedure?

Vibrating tissue in the soft palate is the culprit in most of these cases. For some of our eos sleep patients, Dr. Volpi addresses this with the Pillar® Procedure. The Pillar® Procedure is a minimally invasive way of treating snoring as well as mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It does this by stiffening the soft palate.

The Pillar® Procedure involves placing an implant in the roof of the patient’s mouth. During the procedure, Dr. Volpi places three tiny braided strands of polyester filament into the soft palate (roof of the mouth). The procedure takes only about 20 minutes. Over time, the implant and palate stiffen, reducing the vibration that causes snoring. The Pillar® Procedure also reduces the collapse of tissue that obstructs the upper airway and causes sleep apnea.

Afterwards

Patients who have undergone the Pillar® Procedure report a significant decrease in snoring. The procedure is minimally invasive with minimal discomfort afterwards. Patients can resume normal activities and eat their typical diet immediately after the procedure.

Do you suffer from chronic snoring and possible sleep apnea? The Pillar® Procedure could be a good option. Call the experts at eos sleep, (212) 873-6036, and schedule a consultation with Dr. Volpi.

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