Injection snoreplasty*

Published on 05/05/2015 by admin

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Last modified 05/05/2015

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Chapter 27 Injection snoreplasty*


IS is most effective in patients who suffer from socially bothersome palatal flutter snoring. IS has not been found to be effective in managing obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) (author’s unpublished data) and therefore, it is strongly recommended that OSAS be objectively excluded prior to snoring treatment. This is best accomplished with polysomnography as the history and physical exam are limited in their accuracy in diagnosing and excluding OSAS.3

IS (and most currently available snoring treatments) targets only the soft palate for snoring treatment. Fortunately, it appears the majority (estimated to be approximately 85%) of snoring patients suffer from palatal flutter snoring.4 Ascertaining that the patient does indeed suffer from palatal flutter snoring, as opposed to other sites of snoring noise production, can translate to increased success with IS and other palatal snoring procedures.5 Commercially available ‘take-home’ polysomnographic technology does exist that appears to reliably identify palatal flutter snoring that translates into improved treatment success rates. However, one must be careful in relying on objective snoring analysis to the point where the ultimate goal of improving the patient’s subjective, social problem of snoring is overlooked.

As with any palatal procedure, patients should be screened carefully for any systemic conditions which may adversely affect wound healing. Examples include vascular disease, poorly controlled diabetes, and chronic steroid use. Addition-ally, patients with a strong gag reflex that is not abated with topical anesthesia may be very difficult to treat with IS or any office-based snoring procedure. Lastly, any pre-existing allergies to the injected agents should be excluded.


IS can be easily accomplished in a typical 20-minute office visit.2 Informed consent is first obtained in all cases. Topical anesthesia is obtained with a thorough application of benzocaine spray or gel. This will also help the majority of patients with a problematic gag reflex. Local injected anesthesia (1% or 2% lidocaine without epinephrine) can be used to further anesthetize the soft palate, but is not necessary as the procedure can be quickly accomplished with a brief, mildly uncomfortable single injection that would be analogous to a local anesthetic injection.

IS has been successfully performed with three different sclerosing agents. The authors have reported the safe and effective use of two different agents in large numbers of patients. Three percent sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) (30 mg/ml SotradecolTM, Bioniche Pharma, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA, was used in the original developmental animal model and in the initial IS human use studies.6 Three percent STS has been used for over five decades for varicose vein therapy and has an excellent safety record. It is inexpensive (less than $30 per treatment at the time of writing), easily obtained, and requires no dilution or mixing. It is highly effective and is the agent of choice for us. It is important to note that STS has NOT been FDA approved for palatal sclerotherapy and its use as such entails ‘off label’ use. It is unlikely that an FDA approval trial will ever be performed due to the fact that STS is no longer under patent protection.

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