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February 22, 2005

Health Center Offers New Procedure
To Reduce Problem of Snoring

Dr. Jeffrey Spiro
Dr. Jeffrey Spiro, a professor of surgery at the Health Center, offers a new procedure to eliminate snoring.

Photo by Peter Morenus

A minimally invasive in-office procedure now being performed at the Health Center by ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Jeffrey Spiro offers new hope for those suffering from snoring.

Snoring is caused when the soft palate vibrates during sleep. The new operation, called the Pillar procedure, stiffens the soft palate, thereby preventing vibrations.

“This procedure aims to eliminate snoring by going right to the soft palate – the source of snoring problems for most patients,” Spiro explains. “Unlike earlier procedures, this appears to be a durable, long-term approach. Another advantage is that it does not require multiple steps; it is completed with one visit.”

During the procedure, Spiro places three small permanent inserts in the soft palate. Once in place, the inserts add structural support to the palate, and over time, the body’s natural tissue response to the inserts increases the soft palate’s stiffness.

“The inserts are made of a type of polyester that has been used in implantable medical devices for many years and seems to be very well tolerated,” Spiro adds. “The availability of this procedure is good news for people who want to stop snoring – and even better news for their spouses.”

The Pillar procedure was approved by the FDA in 2002 for snoring, and in September 2004 for the treatment of mild sleep apnea. This procedure may not be appropriate for everyone who snores, so an evaluation in the office is required to determine if an individual is an appropriate candidate.

To learn more, call the Health Center at 800.535.6232 or 860.679.7692.