Home » Medical conditions » Therapy
Snoring Treatment: The use of surgical ultrasound is indicated in peripheral sleep apnea and especially in snoring.
It is a sophisticated device consisting of a generator which produces high-frequency oscillations which are transferred to the ultrasound cutting instrument that intervenes on the anatomical obstruction that causes snoring (tonsils, uvula, etc.).
The most important advantages of ultrasound are:
• They are almost painless since neither stitches nor a scalpel are used.
• They are completely bloodless since all small vessels are burned.
• High frequency oscillations create perfect sterility.
• They do not cause thermal damage to adjacent tissues as other methods do.
• Results are seen from the very first night (snoring stops).
• They can be applied without general anesthesia, e.g. local or regional anesthesia.
• The surgical procedure is much milder and the patient can go home within a few hours from the surgery.
Depending on the anatomic obstruction that causes snoring, the invasive medical intervention may vary:
CORRECTING NASAL SEPTUM SCOLIOSIS WITH THE USE OF SURGICAL ULTRASOUND
In case of a nasal bone spur, this can be corrected in an easy, painless and bloodless way. The whole procedure can be performed in a hospital with a light anesthesia (e.g. local anesthetic) or even with a very good regional anesthetic (xylocaine-adrenaline). The operation with the use of ultrasound lasts 15 minutes to half an hour and after it ends the patient’s nostrils are left slightly plugged (Fucidine) for some hours and he/she can leave and go back home. Thanks to the high frequency oscillations which are forwarded from the generator to the ultrasound’s titanium lancet, complete sterilisation is ensured for the patient and postoperative infections are limited to the strict minimum. The titanium lancet is the instrument’s head that is used to correct the bone of the nasal septum, and it ensures a bloodless incision cauterising all vessels with a diameter of less than 0.5 cm. Usually it is combined with cauterisation of the hypertrophic nasal turbinates (nasal conchae) for better nose breathing. Ultrasounds ensure bloodless conditions and due to their low temperature (<70 Co) they do not cause damage to tissues as so happens with Radiofrequency and Laser. There is no need for the patient to stay in a clinic or hospital overnight for the nasal septum operation, since the whole procedure and its interventions are very mild. Furthermore, the patient can breathe from the very first night as special tubes with air ducts are placed within the nose, and are taken away the next morning. There is no external deformation of the nose, nor swelling or bruises on the face and the patient does not seem to have undergone any operation. The post operating pain is almost non-existing, as there are no stitches left into the nose nor are there large gauzes to disturb the patient.
CAUTERISATION OF INFERIOR NASAL CONCHAE WITH THE USE OF ULTRASOUND
In case the patient’s snoring is due to nasal turbinate hypertrophy of the inferior nasal conchae, which obstruct almost the whole nasal canal, especially during night sleep, cauterisation with the use of surgical ultrasound is the most effective treatment. This is a procedure that can easily be performed in the consulting room only with the use of a local anesthetic. A special cutting head is used, which penetrates the nasal concha body and makes it shrink drastically, thus making enough space for the air to pass through the nasal canal. Thanks to the high frequency oscillations, complete sterilisation is ensured for the patient. Moreover, the low temperatures produced by the ultrasound, help to avoid burns and soft-tissue traumatic injuries, shortening the recovery time and making the whole procedure milder for the patient.
TONSILS SHRINKING WITH THE USE OF SURGICAL ULTRASOUND – SOMNOPLASTY
The best way to treat hypertrophic tonsils which are responsible for snoring or sleep apnea is shrinking them in size with the help of ultrasound. The procedure is completely non-traumatic, painless and bloodless, and it can be performed, where appropriate, in the consulting room with local anesthesia. A special needle is used which penetrates the volume of turbinate tissue and shrinks it. This method is perfect for kids and patients who do not wish to have their tonsils removed completely; the tonsils operating – defensive role is ensured since they are simply decreased in volume while the turbinate tissue remains as is and maintains its immune function. Pain is a lot less than with the rest of the methods (classic, LASER, RF) and the adult or the kid can return immediately home after the operation, following a special diet. Patients are able to return to their duties or school the following day, but they will have to stay under a special diet for some days.
UVULECTOMY AND MODIFIED PHARYNGOPLASTY
For patients with elongated or flattened uvula that causes snoring or apnea problems, an incision or thinning of the uvula is recommended with the use of ultrasound or radiofrequency RF and local anesthesia. In many cases, uvula surgery and modified pharyngoplasty (U.P.P.P) with palatectomy if palates are narrow and contribute to apnea or snoring, are performed at the same time. The ideal head used in this case is a very fine needle with the dimensions of a hair, which is totally non-traumatic for the pharynx tissues and is therefore relatively painless, thus achieving perfect hemostasis by cauterising all small vessels.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the method of surgical ultrasound has been tested both abroad and in Greece during these last years, with immediate and permanent results that relieve the patient from snoring and apnea problems.