Research has shown that, in some people, the pillar procedure can effectively treat snoring and mild sleep apnea. However, it doesn't work for everyone, and further study is needed to determine who the best candidates are.
You or your bed partner may notice a decrease in snoring or episodes of breathing cessation from sleep apnea as soon as the day after the procedure. However, because your soft palate may become more rigid over time as the tissue hardens around the implants, it may take a few months to get the full effect of the implants.
Once implanted, the rods generally aren't removed. Because the pillar procedure is relatively new, it's unknown how long the effects of the implants will last after implantation.
Mar. 09, 2011
- Friedman M, et al. Palatal implants for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2008;138:209.
- Gillespie MB, et al. Effectiveness of Pillar palatal implants for snoring management. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2009;140:363.
- Saylam G, et al. Do palatal implants really reduce snoring in long-term follow-up? The Laryngoscope. 2009;119:1000.
- Nordgard S, et al. Palatal implants: A new method for the treatment of snoring. Acta Oto-laryngologica. 2004;124:970.
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec05/ch061/ch061b.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Sleep apnea. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea_WhatIs.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Steward DL, et al. Palate implants for obstructive sleep apnea: Multi-institution, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2008;139:506.