, Volume 267, Issue 1, pp 137-142
Date: 17 Apr 2009

Long-term effects of radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate on snoring

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The objective of the study was to evaluate short- and long-term effects of radiofrequency treatment of the soft palate on snoring. Twenty-nine patients with habitual snoring were studied prospectively and treated up to four times at 4–6 week intervals with an Ellman Surgitrone®. Electromyography (EMG) of m. palatoglossus was performed in ten patients. Patients and partners evaluated snoring, sleep quality and daytime sleepiness 1 week preoperatively, 6 months and 3–4 years postoperatively. Snoring was reduced postoperatively (P < 0.0001). Sleep time increased, daytime sleepiness was reduced, and the partners slept better after 6 months. However, 3–4 years postoperatively only 25% of patients were satisfied. Another 25% had received additional treatment. EMG was normal in 6/10 patients preoperatively. They all continued to snore postoperatively. Four patients had pathological EMGs; three were responders. In conclusion, radiofrequency treatment for snoring may lead to long-term improvement in one out of four cases. Pre-evaluation with EMG may predict the outcome.