Radiofrequency Uvulopalatoplasty for Primary Snoring
Simple snoring is a social problem, one that can gravely affect the patient's married life. About 40% of men and 20% of women are affected, and it often goes along with sleep-disordered breathing. Up to now various surgical techniques have been defined such as UPPP(uvulopalatopharyngo plasty), and laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). Among the surgical methods, RAUP (radiofrequency assisted uvulopalatoplasty) is a minimal invasive, an easy performed, and time and cost effective one. We designed a before and after a clinical trial. The inclusion criteria were age >18 years, complaint of nocturnal snoring, have a bed partner to assess snoring, AHI<5 events per hour in the polysomnography, malampathy score (soft palate position) I or II, an elongated uvula, grade I and II of pharyngeal webbing and patient consent was needed too. A 10-score visual analog scale (VAS) of snoring severity was completed by bed partner. All of 35 included patients underwent RAUP under local anesthesia by the same expert surgeon. After 3 months, 6 months and one year, subjective snoring decreased significantly compared to the preoperative period. The decline in VAS in 6 month compared to 3 months postoperatively, was not significant (P=0.223). When comparing 1 year and 6 months after treatment, the VAS scores were increased, but they were not significant (From 1.8 to 1.9, P=0.78). Three months after treatment minor complications consisted of: nasal regurgitation in 2 patients (5.7%), nasal speech in 2 (5.7%) and exacerbation of snoring in 2 (5.7%) patients.There was no major complication including mucosal laceration, uvular damage and obstruction of the airway. The rate of snoring decrease did not correlate with age, sex and BMI. Based on this study and literature review, it seems RAUP is a safe surgery, which may decrease symptoms of snoring, at least, in short-term follow-up.
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