Science / Snoring facts

Risk and danger of surgical snoring therapy

There is a huge amount of surgical efforts to treat snoring and sleep related breathing obstructions.
Depending on the form and way of operation (systemic, or local) we can see

  • general
  • specific
  • surgery risks.

General risks, regardless in which region of the body the operation takes place, are:

Anesthesia: there is a risk of falling into a coma or even dying – never waking up again.

Infections: germs (bacteria) can affect the surgical site. Extremely dangerous and especially harmfull if it occurs with antibiotic resistant strains, they are very difficult to treat and can cause grievous tissue destructions or even death of the patient.

A less common risk to turn up is thrombosis. Blood clots can emerge during the operation. And when they are disseminated into central inner organs, they can make heavy damages like infarctions there (lung, heart, brain).

Operation risks increase drastically, if the patient has got coronary heart disease (angina pectoris, cardiac insufficiency, heart failure), problems with vascular circulation or blood pressure, passed stroke, impairment (malfunction) of liver, kidneys or lungs, weak immune system, diabetes, overweight and obesity, or in contrast malnutrition (undernourishment), which can often happen to elderly people (in nursing homes).

True of all operations in the ENT area (ear-nose-throat) is:

a) they are all in general extremely painfull! As the entire mouth and throat region is plentifully lined with nerves, the consequence of any injury, regardless if accidentally or on purpose, is of course heavy ache. Those aches mainly affect negatively the swallowing and breathing (nasal air flow).

b) As the entire mouth and throat region is densely interveined with many blood vessels, it means that after-bleedings (post-operative haemorraghe) are a realistic option. (notoriously has become tonsillectomy, where there have even been death cases of infants.)
Surgery risks of especially anti-snoring operations depend on the method and location (of the operation site):
UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty): the velum, which is the rear part of the soft palate, and the uvula (the „tail“ hanging down) is cut, clipped and trimmed. The velum is a natural shutter (cover flap) to the nose from behind from the pharynx.

If the surgeon removes too much tissue material there, negative side effects could arise in 2 functions:

Swallowing – Since the back closing of the nose cannot be accomplished sufficiently, food particles get into the nose (from behind, from rear mouth area).

Speaking – Since the rear closure of the nose cannot be fulfilled completely, the air stream and thus the speaking sound goes in large part through the nose (instead of mouth). This we call nasality or (hyper)nasal speech. Hypernasality is an abnormal resonance in the human voice. People lose a lot of understandability and communicative power. And in addition: it doesn՚t appeal well.

Nasal septum (a partition wall in the middle of the nose inside): many people have a deviated septum. Often this is regarded as a reason and risk factor for snoring. Septum operations are made very often in this structure – but the real influence on the breathing noise is rather arbitrary and mostly unsatisfying. Yet it must be confirmed that a free nose pathway is important and essential to avoid habitual open-mouth posture and chronic mouth breathing. So any real organic obstruction (excrescences – like polyps, adenoids) should indeed be removed surgically, to achieve and ensure a free air passage through the nose.

Orthodontic: can be by surgery, or conservative i.e. wearing a protrusion splint for the lower jaw (in sleep). The principle is always: pulling forward the mandible, to provide more space back in the throat (to the air flow). Detriment: the normal oral architecture (mouth occlusion) is severely disrupted and disordered, and the impacts on the jaw joint (TMJ) are not clear. In any case: fairly painfull (ache).

Tongue pacemaker: is implanted, similiar to a cardiac pacemaker, into the chest in an general anethesia operation. It emits electric impulses to the tongue՚s main muscle during sleep, as soon as the tongue is on the verge of slipping back into the throat. Doubts are legitimate if this again could disturb the patient՚s sleep right more, constantly giving a subacutely and subconsciously tiny arousal (wake-up). So you might miss the target, for which this device was originally meant for, again: delivering a continued and quiet sleep (and relaxation). Long-term experience are still to be reported.

Beyond the mentioned ones above there are many more operation trials experimented on patients – depending on the „ambition“ and eagerness of the doctor:

Removing tissue from the tongue base (rear part of the tongue rooting in the throat) – also performed by laser or radiofrequency application.

Larynx elevation: the voice box (together with hyoid bone) is lifted up and preponed (pulled forward), in order to get more space back in the throat (for the air flow). Risk: the larynx plays a very important rule in the swallowing process (closes the trachea i.e. windpipe, and the access to the lungs). So by this artificially induced false position (and fixation) of the larynx there might follow obstacles and impediments in this function.
Basically all surgical attempts to handle snoring are more or less invasive and accordingly connected with correspondent risks (and adverse effects) – in practice, however, they often show very limited success, which mostly leave to be desired. Long-term values are unclear and observations missing.

Therefore we urgently recommend: Train – instead of pain!

With SnoreFree you avoid:

  • Surgery risk
  • Pain and ache
  • impending (negative) side and after effects of operations • Expenses (financial costs)
  • Loss of time (hospital stay, sick leave)

All those points you can evade (except costs) by using our SnoreFree workout. The SnoreFree method is a soft, gentle and non-harmfull way to raise and improve your body awareness and physical sensitivity in the trained area (mouth-throat-neck region): an oral body therapy in the truest sense of the word.

February 21, 2020

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