Millions of Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and each person’s condition is unique. While there are numerous sleep apnea treatment options available, in order to be effective, treatment must target the underlying cause of your airway obstruction. The root cause varies from person to person, and may involve things such as the soft palate, the tongue, the nose, the tonsils or the circumference of the neck.
For patients whose airway obstruction or snoring is caused primarily by soft palate tissue – either excess tissue, or poor tone of the soft palate – treatment should be focused on stabilizing and firming this problem area. The Pillar Procedure is one sleep apnea treatment that may be recommended to achieve this goal. In this blog, the Atlanta sleep apnea doctors at the Atlanta Snoring Institute will describe the top reasons to consider undergoing a Pillar Procedure for OSA.
How does the Pillar Procedure work?
The Pillar Procedure is a unique sleep apnea treatment performed under local anesthesia in the office that requires no surgery or cutting. The quick and simple in-office procedure involves a sleep apnea specialist using a special preloaded insertion device to place woven suture implants into the soft palate. These implants, called Pillar implants, are woven from a safe polyester material that has been used for more than 50 years in permanent sutures. Once inserted within the soft palate, the implants will stiffen and add structural support to this tissue in the weeks and months that follow. As a result, airway obstruction and loud snoring caused by soft palate tissue are greatly reduced and OSA symptoms are significantly improved.
Why should I consider a Pillar Procedure for sleep apnea treatment?
For patients suffering from soft palate-related airway obstruction, a Pillar Procedure may be an ideal treatment option for a number of reasons, including:
- Minimally invasive sleep apnea treatment – Unlike an involved surgical procedure or a clunky CPAP mask that some patients find restrictive and uncomfortable to wear, the Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option that provides results with few, if any, downsides.
- Performed in-office, requiring just one short visit – The Pillar Procedure can be performed in less than 30 minutes, during one short visit to the physician’s office.
- Little downtime – Because tissue is not removed, there is minimal discomfort involved. If needed, some patients use an over-the-counter pain reliever after the procedure and most patients ar
e able to resume normal activities and diet the same day as treatment.
- Effective treatment with proven results – The Pillar Procedure is a clinically proven sleep apnea treatment that has demonstrated significant reduction in patients’ Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI), a measure of OSA severity that’s based on the number of apneas or hypopneas occurring per each hour of sleep. In addition, bed partner satisfaction with the snoring reduction resulting from the Pillar Procedure has been documented at 80% or higher.
- Improved lifestyle – Reduced AHI following the Pillar Procedure translates to better sleep and lifestyle improvements for patients, starting within the first three months after the procedure. Patients report less daytime sleepiness and improvements in sleep apnea symptoms.
Where can I find a sleep apnea doctor in Atlanta who performs the Pillar Procedure?
At the Atlanta Snoring Institute, our practice is the leading provider of the Pillar Procedure in the region, with more procedures performed than any other practice in Georgia. Whether you have already been diagnosed with OSA primarily caused by soft palate tissue or you believe that you may have this condition and want to learn more about your sleep apnea treatment options, the first step is to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified physicians. Our physicians are double board certified in both Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (ENT) and in Sleep Medicine. Our practice offers at-home diagnostic testing so that patients can receive an accurate diagnosis after taking a sleep study from the comfort and convenience of their own bed.
To learn more about the Pillar Procedure and to learn whether you may be a good candidate for this sleep apnea treatment, you can get started by filling out the appointment request form right on this page or by contacting our office today. We offer practice locations in Buckhead, Fayetteville and Stockbridge.