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Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing

ENT Physician & Audiologist located in Houston, TX

If you experience poor sleep due to snoring or mild sleep apnea,  somnoplasty could be a viable option for you. At Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing, board-certified ENT surgeon Conrad McCutcheon, MD, FACS, uses this minimally invasive procedure to improve airflow, reduce snoring and help you achieve better and more restful sleep. To make an appointment at the practice in Houston, Texas, call the office or click the online booking feature today.

Somnoplasty Q & A

Somnoplasty - A Better Alternative to Invasive UPPP Surgery or CPAP Machine

Illustrative photo of a man snoring

Somnoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that uses targeted low-power radiofrequency energy to gently shrink or remove excess tissues in the throat. Specifically, it uses a small, handheld device to deliver radiofrequency energy beneath the surface layer, or mucosa of the affected tissues at the palate and tongue base. The targeted tissues are gently treated to safely contract them. The airway is given greater room for air to circulate, thus treating snoring and mild sleep apnea at its source.

Somnoplasty is quick, convenient and far less invasive than traditional Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or the daily use of a CPAP mask. For optimal results, 1-4 treatments are done depending on severity of condition. Each treatment typically lasts less than 10 minutes and no recovery period is needed. You can return to work and your other activities the same day. Currently, somnoplasty is not covered by medical insurance.

Who is a candidate for somnoplasty?

Habitual snoring is a common problem that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when something blocks your airways or when the tissues at the back of your throat relax during sleep.

Often, habitual snoring occurs due to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition occurs when the tissues of your throat relax during sleep, causing varying degrees of breathing difficulty. 

If you snore, regularly wake up with a headache or feel groggy, even after a full eight hours of sleep, you may be a candidate for somnoplasty.

What are the benefits of somnoplasty?

Somnoplasty offers various benefits, including:

  • In-office procedure under local anesthesia
  • It takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Discomfort is mild and often, patients are back to normal activity and diet the same day.
  • The results are long-term, making it an appealing alternative to UPPP and CPAP

What does somnoplasty involve?

At Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing, Dr. McCutcheon performs somnoplasty in the office. At the beginning of your appointment, he administers a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort.

Next, Dr. McCutcheon inserts a small, handheld wand into your mouth. The wand emits low-power radiofrequency energy, allowing Dr. McCutcheon to gently tighten the tissues that make up your soft palate or tongue. After tightening the tissues of your palate or base of your tongue, Dr. McCutcheon removes the wand and provides at-home care instructions.

What is recovery like after somnoplasty?

Following treatment, it’s normal to experience some mild swelling and increased throat sensitivity. At first, you might also experience difficulty breathing or excess mucus production when you lie down. 

The discomfort seldom last more than 48 hours. Follow Dr. McCutcheon’s instructions carefully and attend each of your treatment sessions and follow-up appointments.

To see if you’re a candidate for somnoplasty, make an appointment at Memorial Village Sinus and Hearing by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.