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Radio-Frequency Uvula & Palate Reduction


Snoring due to a long soft palate &/or uvula:fig1uvula

The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. This area is the collapsible part of the airway where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula. Snoring occurs when these structures strike each other and vibrate during breathing.

Some snoring is a result of having a long soft palate and/or uvula: A long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. The excessive length of the soft palate and/or uvula acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing.

Radio-Frequency Uvula & Palate Reduction

Radio-frequency reduction of the palate, and removal of the uvula, can be performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia.   It is called a Uvulopalatoplasty.  After topical and injected numbing medication, a radiofrequency wand is used to remove excess tissue from the palate and the entire uvula.  The wand cauterizes as it cuts. Usually no stiches are needed, and the palate heals on its own over 2-3 weeks.  This provides improved airflow and removes excess vibratory tissue that contributes to snoring.