a1 ENT Department, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK
Introduction: Many surgical and nonsurgical procedures have been designed for the treatment of snoring due to palatal flutter. All work in some, but not all, snorers. The difficulty lies in making the definitive diagnosis of palatal flutter as the cause of snoring, and in deciding which patients should undergo which treatment, which in some cases are relatively radical.
Aims: This study aimed to assess the usefulness of injection snoreplasty in differentiating palatal flutter from other forms of snoring. This was done in the hope of determining which patients would benefit from definitive palatal surgery such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and laser-assisted uvuloplasty.
Materials: Sixty consecutive patients referred for habitual snoring were treated with sodium tetradycil sulphate during their first consultation visit. No patients were excluded and none refused the treatment. Forty patients received a single 1 ml dose of 1 per cent sodium tetradycil sulphate, and twenty patients received a single 1 ml dose of 3 per cent sodium tetradycil sulphate under topical anaesthesia. Visual analogue snoring scales were completed by the patient and their partner six weeks, three months, six months and 12 months after the procedure.
Results: Forty of the 60 patients showed improvement in snoring and therefore were considered for definitive surgery. Four of the 60 patients found the investigation unpleasant and did not want any further treatment. Of the 40 patients who showed improvement, 29 maintained this at one year. The other 11 underwent uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or laser-assisted palatoplasty. All patients had successful snoring scale outcomes following the surgery.
Conclusion: A significant number of the patients, 62 per cent, were demonstrated to have significant improvement in the short term. Single dose injection snoreplasty seems not only to be an effective investigation but may constitute a safe and simple treatment within the clinic. At the very least, patients in whom the palate appears not to be the problem are prevented from undergoing painful, unpleasant surgery. Our results support the use of injection snoreplasty, both as an investigation and in some patients as a treatment, for habitual snoring.
(Accepted May 23 2007)
(Online publication June 09 2008)
Mr A H Al-Jassim takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.
Competing interests: None declared