Stopping the Buzzsaw with the Pillar Procedure

11/15/2016

snoreSnoring seems harmless enough. When you were a kid you probably felt as if your Dad’s snoring was lifting the roof of the house every breath he took in. Usually, it is harmless (your Mom wouldn’t agree!), annoying to anyone in range, but generally harmless. But sometimes it points to a more serious health issue. At Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat, one of our solutions for snoring 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 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

What is the Pillar® Procedure?

Vibrating tissue in the soft palate is the culprit behind most cases of chronic snoring. At Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat, we address 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, three tiny braided strands of polyester filament are placed 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.

Interested in stopping the nightly buzzsaw? Call the team at Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat, 732-280-7855, and ask about the Pillar® Procedure.