Snoring is a problem that plagues millions of individuals all over the world, and while it seems harmless, intensive snoring can increase your risk of serious health problems. Snoring symptoms have various causes, but the primary reason behind the issue is the same. When you sleep, the muscles in your throat relax and can constrict your airways. The sound of snoring is vibration from oxygen moving through block passages as you breathe. Surgery is rarely used to treat snoring, but it can be necessary for individuals who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or for severe snorers. If you’ve exhausted other forms of treatment and are considering snoring surgery, consult your doctor to determine the right procedure for you.
What Are The Types of Snoring Surgery?
There are roughly five types of surgical procedures you can have to address your snoring problem: uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, somnoplasty, thermal ablation, injection snoreplasty, and nasal decongestion. The operation you undergo will largely depend on the shape of your oral cavity and the cause of your snoring.
There are two types of Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: general and laser-assisted. General Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3) is the process of removing and tightening loose tissues in the soft palate or throat to increase the size of your airway. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is the most common treatment for correcting loose soft palate tissue. During this operation, surgeons use a laser to remove excess tissue in the oral cavity and your air pathway. Keep in mind that uvulopalatopharyngoplasty can alter the pitch of your voice, and, in some case, limit the types of surgical snoring treatments you can use in the future.
Thermal ablation is a newer type of surgical snoring procedure that uses heat and radio waves to tighten soft tissue in the upper palate, nasal turbinates, and uvula. Somnoplasty and radio-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (RAUP) are two snoring surgeries that employ this method. Somnoplasty is a relatively simple operation. After the surgeon numbs your throat and mouth, they will use an electrode needle to create scar tissue underneath the surface of your upper palate. This type of surgery can have moderate to significant swelling directly following the procedure, and some patients require a second or third operation to further shrink the size of their soft palate tissues. RAUP is similar to UPPP and LAUP but uses heat rather than lasers or incisions to reduce the uvula’s size.
Injection Snoreplasty and Septoplasty
Injection snoreplasty is a relatively young surgery (operations began in 2000) during which a surgeon injects a hardening chemical into the upper oral cavity. The hardening material causes scarring beneath the surface of your upper palate and pulls the tissue taunt. This procedure is typically only used to treat patients who snore because of an enlarged uvula. Septoplasty is a nasal decongestion surgery that removes physical airway obstructions. Surgeons realign misshapen bone and cartilage structures in the nasal cavity to reduce blockages.
Adenoidectomy and Tonsillectomy
Tonsillectomies aren’t snoring-specific surgeries, but they are an effective way to eliminate snoring for certain patients. Tonsils sit just behind the tongue, and when infected, these lymphoid tissues can swell and cause serious health problems in addition to snoring. Patients whose snoring is the result of infected or inflamed nasal lymphoid tissues called adenoids undergo adenoidectomies. Both procedures are same-day surgeries with minimal scarring and little to no discomfort.
What Is The Cost of Snoring Surgery?
The actual cost of your snoring surgery will vary slightly depending on your surgeon, where you have your procedure, the length of your hospital stay, and what type of anesthesia will be administered during your operation.
Including hospital charges and anesthesia, laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty usually costs around $2,000 – $3,000. The total cost of a somnoplasty procedure, including any subsequent procedures, is $3,500. Injection snoreplasty costs about $500 per treatment, and each additional procedure is around $300.
General uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and septoplasty vary the most among all snoring surgical procedures because they can be the most extensive. If your uvulopalatopharyngoplasty procedure only involves removing the uvula, it can cost as low as $2,000. However, if your snoring problem stems from issues with your tonsils or adenoids in addition to the uvula, the cost can be $10,000 or more without insurance. Septoplasty ranges from $3,000 to $18,000 depending on the severity of your septum’s misalignment. Adenoidectomies are often compound procedures that include removing the tonsils. Regardless of whether your surgeon removes your tonsils during your operation, the procedure will cost between $5,000 and $7,000. Tonsillectomies typically run about $5,500.
Are There Insurance Options Available to Cover Surgery?
As with the base cost of each type of operation, insurance coverage will vary by procedure. However, insurance companies usually have some form of coverage for snoring surgeries. Most health plans cover adenoidectomy, tonsillectomy, and nasal decongestion procedures. Alternatively, coverage for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and uvulopalatoplasty will depend on your health care provider. Some insurance companies don’t consider snoring a medical problem and will not cover individuals who don’t have a sleep apnea diagnosis. Lastly, because injection snoreplasty is a relatively new surgery, you will need to contact your insurance provider to determine if it’s covered.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!