If first option treatments such as lifestyle changes and breathing devices do not help to alleviate snoring, surgery may help to treat the condition.

Should you have snoring surgery?

If you are diagnosed with simple snoring you should only have snoring surgery after you’ve tried other non-invasive treatments in order to improve the condition. These include measures such as changing your sleep patterns, using special bedding to change the position in which you sleep, or using breathing devices that you wear in your mouth while you sleep.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea then you may need to consider snoring surgery sooner rather than later to prevent long-term effects on your health and lifestyle.

What are the options for snoring surgery?

If non-surgical methods for alleviating snoring don’t work, you can undergo surgery to remove tissue in your throat. With less tissue, you have a wider airway, which means that the vibrations in your throat will decrease and your snoring will be less pronounced. 

There are two main options for snoring surgery:

  • A laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is typically performed in milder cases of snoring. Your surgeon will use a laser to make incisions on portions of your soft palate and/or remove your uvula. These incisions are usually done over time and use a local anaesthesia so you can go home straight afterwards. In most cases, this procedure will require three to five treatments that will be spread about four to six weeks apart.
  • An uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is typically performed in more severe cases of snoring.  Your surgeon will remove parts of your throat tissue that can include your tonsils and uvula, as well as parts of your tongue and soft palate. Since the procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, you’ll need to stay in hospital to recover for at least one to two nights afterwards.

Recovering from snoring surgery

In most cases, a LAUP doesn’t have serious side effects apart from a sore throat so you can continue life as normal straight after each procedure.

In contrast, UPPP is a more invasive type of surgery, the pain may be more pronounced and recovery will take longer – usually around two weeks. However, the advantage with this surgery is that it can be done all at once with no need for repeat procedures.