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

  • Elisabeth HultcrantzEmail author
  • Lena Harder
  • Helena Loord
  • Lars-Göran Käll
  • Kjell Ydreborg
  • Staffan Wallberg
  • Eva Svanborg


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.


Snoring RF ablation Long-term effects Electromyography 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Hultcrantz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lena Harder
    • 2
  • Helena Loord
    • 3
  • Lars-Göran Käll
    • 4
  • Kjell Ydreborg
    • 5
  • Staffan Wallberg
    • 1
  • Eva Svanborg
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of OtorhinolaryngologyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of NeurophysiologyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.ORL-ClinicUniversity HospitalLinköpingSweden
  4. 4.ORL ClinicVrinnevi HospitalNorrköpingSweden
  5. 5.ORL-ClinicRyhov HospitalJönköpingSweden
  6. 6.Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neurophysiology, Medical FacultyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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