Is there any pain after my Snore-Op?

 Whilst there is a brief and well-tolerated pain of injection (like a dental injection), after the Xylocaine has worn off, some rate the pain as zero. On average, the pain is rated at 2 out of ten (in a survey of 50 consecutive patients), and most do not require pain relief. The discomfort that some feel is quite short lived.

Is there any swelling after this minor surgery?

The main discomfort after a "Snore-Op" is that of swelling of the soft palate and uvula. This can be minimised by methods such as spending the first few nights propped up, by sucking ice, or other methods discussed at the consultation.

What does the doctor actually do?

While sitting in a chair, or perhaps at the side of the examinaton couch, the doctor dries the roof of the mouth with cotton buds, then applies a strong numbing gel which both numbs the surface and minimises the gag reflex. Gagging is almost never a problem with this procedure, and the mouth does not need to be held open for long periods of time. Then the injection is given once it has been pre-warmed. Most feel this is the worst part of the snoring procedure. The probe is then inserted to the correct depth and inclination, and three separate burns at precisely 80 degrees Celcius are applied beneath the surface of the soft palate.

There is no smoke, no drama, and nothing (or nearly nothing) to feel. Each of the three radiofrequency burns take 25 seconds. This is the end of the Snore-Op, and has taken a relaxed 30 minutes to discuss and accomplish.

View an actual "Snore-Op" occurring on YouTube.  Some may need extra time if the blocked nose needs treating to stop the snoring, and this minor operation can be done at the same time.  It is, however usually treated at a subsequent treatment if required, using Snore-Op technology.

Can I eat after my snoring operation?

Yes! Anything is OK after snoring surgery, but we recommend cold or very cold food and drink. This could be solids, liquids, slops, etc. We recommend iceblocks for the way home from your Snore-Op. Basically, the treatment for all burns is to get them cold as soon as possible to reduce discomfort and swelling. Thermally hot foods are not advised after this snoring surgery, but a cold "hot" curry is just fine!.

Is snoring fixed straight away?

No! In fact, in nearly every case, the snoring gets worse for perhaps three nights, then returns to your normal "bad" snoring within about a week. Most begin to respond between 2 and 3 weeks from the operation, and improvement continues until about 8 weeks. A reassessment then will decide if another "Snore-Op"is required, based on your Snoring Score, and your Epworth Sleepiness Score.

How likely is this snoring surgery to work?

In our own study of 119 snoring patients, using our trade-marked version, we achieved 79.6% of patients improving their snoring score, based on the somewhat objective partner disturbance score (found elsewhere on the website). The mean improvement on that scale was 4.65 on the scale of ten. Interestingly, of the 20% whose snoring did not improve with the first treatment, half of them improved with a second treatment.

In summary, our snoring procedure done in the "Snore-Op" way is very likely to help the problem, something around 90% of people experiencing improvement after just two treatments. We have a goal to improve the partner snoring disturbance score to three of less on the scale. Achieving a Snore Score of three or less, one can generally expect to get 3 to five years out of one minor treatment. Some have quietened their snoring for more than ten years so far (2009)! 

Will my voice change as a result of my snoring treatment?

Slight changes in the voice can temporarily occur in the days after the snoring operation. These changes are short-lived. Most have no voice change, even immediately after the snoring procedure. Long term there should be no voice change. Thus, we tend to do school teachers on a Friday, and Car Salesmen on Mondays! Any day suits us, however!

Do I need someone to drive me home?

Just as with a dental appointment, no!

Does it cost much for my snoring operation?

Costs can vary depending on the type of snoring procedure and is best discussed with your Snoreop doctor.  Compared with all other surgical snoring operations, it is by far the cheapest solution.  A Snore-Op costs $795 all inclusive, which includes the cost of the R.F. probe (which is about half the cost of the total), and the two non-operative follow-up visits.Subsequent repeat operations cost $380, as you already own the re-use probe from the first procedure.

The "N.Z. Consumer" (Aug 2003) in an article entitled: "The night of the living dread" discussed the comparative costs of all the "over the counter" snoring remedies...(Prices as at January 2012)

Silence Spray $34.99, using two sprays per night, lasts less than a month, ie over $1300 in 3 years
Snore-eze $31.50, using 3 sprays per night, lasts under 3 weeks, ie over $1600 in three years
Nasal strips $33.99 for thirty, lasting a month, ie over $1200 used for three years
Snoreguard $740 plus GST ie over $830

"N.Z. Consumer" states of the above that "there is little evidence that these things work".

Dental mouthguards $1000 and up fitted and scientifically adjusted, and known to be effective in many cases.

Since then has come on the market the AveoTSD at $187.50 which pulls the tongue out of the mouth with suction. This product can be discussed with your Snore-Op doctor if desired.

The "Consumer" article then goes on to discuss the four operations, namely UPPP, LAUP, Somnoplasty, and Snoreplasty.  The last one was described as experimental, and no-one does this now as it was not effective. The UPPP and LAUP are very expensive, and very painful.

We began in 1997 with Somnoplasty, and a year later, two lower cost options came on the market.  Having tried all three, we much prefer the Ellman Surgitron with its shortened time required down the back of the throat, much cheaper cost, and more patient comfort.

When comparing costs, it is useful to add up the cost of 3 to 5 years of use, and compare this total to the cost of Snore-Op ($795 NZ based on one treatment.  Add $380 if a second treatment is required), as this is the minimal time our procedure seems to last for before a top-up is required.  We have had several for whom it has lasted for 10 to 13 years with no snoring.

Is radiofrequency surgery a safe option to treat snoring?

This is totally safe snoring treatment. We are bombarded with radio waves all our lives, 24 hours a day, wherever we are in the world. Snore-Op uses radiofrequency  at 3.8 MegaHertz, which puts it slightly above the AM radio band, and less than FM radio. This is non-ionising radiation, so cannot split molecules, and is very well understood by your Snore-Op trained Doctor. The range of heat energy emitted is only 3mm radius, and falls very much below the frequencies of microwave, light and xrays. It is also much below cell-phone energy radiation, and of course is for only seconds in time.

Can I only get a SnoreOp through your clinics?

"SnoreOp" is our own TradeMark for the entire process we have developed to make the whole process much more comfortable, and more likely to succeed.  There are many refinements and improvements which only your "SnoreOp" trained doctor will be able to do.  The SnoreOp method has evolved by us with over fifteen years of experience and research.