LASER PALATE SURGERY
Snoring is the noise coming from vibrating throat tissues in the presence of partial airway obstruction. The big problem area is the back of the throat and tongue. A blocked nose is usually only a small part of the problem. Most bad snorers have inherited a facial structure that makes them snore. Palate surgery is only one option in the management of snoring.
REASONS FOR SURGERY:
Dr. Wallace may recommended the operation for some or all of the following reasons:
- Snoring is a major social problem for you and your partner
- Snoring is a health problem for you (Sleep apnoea is present)
- Nasal airway blockage has been assessed and has been or will be treated
- Sleep apnoea has been assessed and is mild or is under treatment
RISKS OF SURGERY:
This surgery is associated with a low risk of complications.
The specific risks of Laser palate surgery of which you should be aware are:
- Bleeding from the palate or throat occurs for 1 in 100 patients. It happens up to 14 days after surgery and may require a return visit to hospital and or the operating theatre
- Significant infection is rare but inflammation from mouth bacteria is normal and preventive antibiotics are usually given. A fever and chills despite this medication would indicate the need for further attention.
- Excessive removal of palate tissue can lead to palatal incompetence that impairs speech and swallowing. To avoid this complication, the surgery must be conservative which means that some patients will need more than one treatment session to resolve their snoring
The majority of patients will have the surgery done asleep for approximately 30 minutes under a General Anaesthetic. Some patients will have their operation awake with injections of anaesthetic “Local” into the soft palate that make the area numb and pain-free for about 1 to 4 hours.
Dr Wallace operates via the open mouth to remove a strip or fringe of soft palate with the uvula and tonsils. An initial palate operation takes about 30 minutes. Any subsequent operations take about half this time.
For operations under General Anaesthetic, you will probably stay overnight and Dr. Wallace will visit the hospital early the following morning to check you. Where your operation is under Local Anaesthetic, you may go home after a short recovery.
Pain control is the main issue at home. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories are prescribed.
All patients should arrange to see Dr. Wallace in his office in one week. Most patients take this week off work.
The cost of this initial post-op visit and the review at 6 weeks is included in the surgical fee.
Laser palate surgery is occasionally combined with other procedures. The most common combination is with Tonsillectomy. Other combined procedures include Septoplasty and/or Nasal Turbinate Cautery to deal with nasal blockage.
It takes 6 weeks for your palate to fully heal, tighten and achieve the best result. For at least a few months, you will feel a difference in your throat that may be annoying but it will resolve.
About 80% of patients will have snoring abolished or greatly reduced to the satisfaction of their partner. The remaining 20% of patients will need to consider a second treatment.