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Treatment for Snoring in Calgary

One of the major players in snoring is the soft palate, uvula and tongue base. At Canadian Sleep Surgery Clinic, Dr. Chau can help you choose the right surgery or procedure to combat your snoring and sleep issues. Treatments can range from minimally invasive procedures like the Pillar procedure and palate radio-frequency can be performed in the office under local anaesthesia, and these can be very helpful in snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. More invasive procedures are available, however, are performed in the operating room under general anesthesia and tend to be reserved for patients suffering from snoring and sleep apnea.

Palate, tongue base and pillar procedures are often performed under local anaesthetic to treat snoring only. Unfortunately, snoring is not considered "medically significant" enough by provincial health care insurance programs (in any province). Although a consultation is covered by Alberta Health Services, unless there is a diagnosis of sleep apnea, all associated costs for snoring treatments would have to be covered by the patient or their private insurance company.


(If the patient cannot tolerate this procedure under local anesthetic, a general anesthetic option is available.)

Uvulopalatoplasty (Radio-frequency)
This procedure is reserved for patients with snoring, mild OSA or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). It is performed as an outpatient without general anaesthesia or sedation. It involves two to three sessions of delivering energy with a probe in 1-3 locations of the soft palate to heat the soft tissue in a controlled manner and create a specific amount of damage. This will initiate healing and form scar tissue which will tighten and reduce the size of the treated area.

Base of Tongue Radio-frequency
Dr. Chau uses a specially designed radio-frequency probe to heat the tissue and creates a certain amount of damage which then produces scar tissue. This shrinks the tongue and makes it less likely to fall back and cause obstruction while you’re asleep. Tongue radio-frequency can be delivered to four areas: the back of the tongue, underneath the tongue, and each side of it. Typically Dr. Chau will treat the back of the tongue only if under local anaesthetic as it is the easiest to tolerate. The procedure is approximately 30-60 minutes and can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Most patients undergoing tongue radio-frequency should expect a total of 2-3 treatment sessions.

Pillar Procedure
This procedure treats patients with snoring and can be combined with radio-frequency procedures for a patient with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Pillar procedure is performed in the outpatient clinic without general anaesthesia, however, they can be placed under general anesthesia if a patient is already scheduled for additional surgical procedures. Although the Pillar Procedure has many attractive features, not every patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure, your candidacy will be discussed in the consultation. The procedure involves placing three or more woven implants in the soft palate and takes approximately 30 minutes. Their presence along with the body natural response to them will stiffen the soft palate over the following 2-3 months. The implants are made of a material (trademarked as Dacron®) that has been used for decades in medical uses without any known adverse consequences.

Need Information?

If you have any questions or concerns about our procedures, please email or call us.

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