During the procedure
The pillar procedure is performed in the surgeon's office, where you'll likely be seated leaning backward, similarly to how you're seated when your teeth are cleaned. During the procedure, which takes less than 30 minutes, the surgeon:
- Applies a topical anesthetic to your soft palate to numb the area for the injection
- Injects the area with a local anesthetic, which may sting
- Positions the first implant
- Inserts the first implant, which has its own disposable insertion device
- Repeats the last two steps two more times
After the procedure
Your doctor may ask you to sit for a few minutes to be sure you're not experiencing significant bleeding or swelling. You should be able to resume normal activities and eat normally that same day.
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain medication to keep down swelling and help with any pain you feel after the anesthetic wears off. He or she may also ask you to use an antiseptic rinse for several days and take an antibiotic to prevent infection.
Apr. 22, 2014
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- What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea/. Accessed Dec. 16, 2013.
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- Beninati W. Treatment of adults with snoring. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 15, 2013.
- Nordgard S, et al. Palatal implants: A new method for the treatment of snoring. Acta Oto-laryngologica. 2004;124:970.
- Caples SM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2013.
- Caples SM, et al. Surgical modifications of the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep. 2010;33:1396.
- Carr AB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 24, 2013.