We investigated a novel, minimally invasive surgery that uses an absorbable suture technique to treat snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. This simple procedure was developed to increase the stiffness of the soft palate and to promote uvula elevation with sutures. Thirty-five snorer and mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome patients were included in this study. The palate was sutured with the newly developed technique. The results of our surgery were evaluated using polysomnography (PSG), the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS), and a visual analogue scale (VAS) before surgery and 90 days after surgery. One year after surgery, telephone interviews were performed to assess patient satisfaction. Postoperative physical examinations of all patients showed increased stiffness of the soft palate and superiorly displaced uvula. These findings were consistent after the postoperative day 90. The patients’ snoring symptoms and their bed partners’ complaints, assessed by ESS and VAS, significantly improved compared to the pre-treatment value (p < 0.05). Additionally, the apnea–hypopnea index (AHI), assessed by PSG, was significantly improved compared to the pre-treatment value (p < 0.05). Based on the results from the telephone interviews analyzed 1 year after surgery, about 88 % of patients were satisfied with the outcome. This minimally invasive snoreplasty that uses absorbable suture material is an effective and simple procedure for treating snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0022048).
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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