What you can expectBy Mayo Clinic staff
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During the procedure
The pillar procedure is performed in the surgeon's office, where you'll likely be seated leaning backward, similarly to how you're seated when your teeth are cleaned. During the procedure, which takes less than 30 minutes, the surgeon:
- Applies a topical anesthetic to your soft palate to numb the area for the injection
- Injects the area with a local anesthetic, which may sting
- Positions the first implant
- Inserts the first implant, which has its own disposable insertion device
- Repeats the last two steps two more times
After the procedure
Your doctor may ask you to sit for a few minutes to be sure you're not experiencing significant bleeding or swelling. You should be able to resume normal activities and eat normally that same day.
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain medication to keep down swelling and help with any pain you feel after the anesthetic wears off. He or she may also ask you to use an antiseptic rinse for several days and take an antibiotic to prevent infection.
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- Gillespie MB, et al. Effectiveness of Pillar palatal implants for snoring management. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2009;140:363.
- Saylam G, et al. Do palatal implants really reduce snoring in long-term follow-up? The Laryngoscope. 2009;119:1000.
- Nordgard S, et al. Palatal implants: A new method for the treatment of snoring. Acta Oto-laryngologica. 2004;124:970.
- Obstructive sleep apnea. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec05/ch061/ch061b.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Sleep apnea. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea_WhatIs.html. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Steward DL, et al. Palate implants for obstructive sleep apnea: Multi-institution, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2008;139:506.