The Pillar Procedure addresses directly the most common source of snoring – the soft palate (the soft part of the top of the mouth). For select patients, this technique can performed in the office in one visit under local anesthesia by “freezing” the throat using sprays, gels, and Lidocaine. Three to five small, polyester “pillar” implants (2 mm in diameter) are placed inside the soft palate to cause scarring to stiffen the palate. This stiffening reduces the tissue vibration that can cause snoring and palatal tissue collapse. The soft palate will continue to stiffen over 4-6 weeks improving your snoring. The Pillar Procedure™ can also be used in conjunction with other techniques such as a uvulectomy or turbinectomy to address the soft palate and nose directly to reduce or even stop snoring.
The procedure typically may be completed in the office within thirty minutes. You should plan to be in the office for about one hour in order to prepare and complete the paperwork.
Since the procedure is done in the office, recovery is much quicker with less discomfort. Dr. Pasha uses sprays and gels to numb up the area prior to any injection. This reduces the discomfort of the injection considerably. Pain after the surgery varies widely. Generally speaking, one should anticipate soreness in the area for a few days after the procedure.
Most people resume a normal diet the same day or within a few days after the procedure.
Although we cannot guarantee success for everyone, clinical studies have shown that the Pillar Procedure™ may reduce snoring with a 70-80% bed partner satisfaction rate in select patients and can reduce the severity of mild sleep apnea.
Because the Pillar Procedure is done in the office, severe complications are extremely rare.
Minor complications include the extrusion (sticking out) of the pillar implant. Extrusion of the implant occurs slowly and often is only partially extruded. If this occurs, Dr. Pasha may replace the implant or leave it depending on how long the implant has been in place.
This procedure does not affect swallowing or significant voice changes.
A more comprehensive list of potential complications will be discussed in the office.