Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue structures of the upper respiratory tract during sleep. The decrease in both the size and the rigidity of the airway is the major reason for snoring. When we breathe in, the negative pressure caused the flaccid airway to vibrate and collapse. The greater the vibration, the louder the snore will be. When the airway is totally collapsed, both snoring and breathing will stop, resulting in sleep apnea. It is important to screen for sleep apnea before proceeding to treatment of snoring.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure based on the principle of local thermal destruction of excessive tissues by means of radiofrequency current. By heating to 60 - 80°C, the tissues involved will be electro-coagulated and resorbed by the body in a short time. The procedure can usually be carried out in ambulatory practice under local anesthesia. Discomfort to the patient is reduced to a minimum. In addition, complications such as bleeding and mucosal ulcerations are rare. Radiofrequency ablation can be applied to the nose, soft palate and tongue base. It is useful in reducing snoring. It is also used as an adjunct procedure for sleep apnea.
After radiofrequency therapy, the treated tissues will be swollen for about a week. For the nose, vasoconstrictor nasal drops can help to relieve the nasal obstruction. Pain is minimal and usually only required mild analgesics. Occasionally, antibiotics may be added.
The information on this website is for general educational purpose only. Readers should consult their physician before considering treatment, and should not interpret their condition solely based on the information above.