The Pillar Implant and Procedure
Snoring is primarily created by the noise generated by the vibration of the tissue of the oropharynx, which consists of the area bounded by the soft palate, tonsils and the posterior airway.
Approximately 60% of American males and 30% of American females have been noted by their bed partners to snore. 80% of bed partners of snorers relate that the presence of snoring does effect their relationship in a negative manner. 20% of bed partners of snorers frequently choose to sleep in another room because of the snoring. On average, the bed partner of a snorer loses at least an hour of sleep every night because of the disruptive effects of the snoring.
The Pillar Procedure a FDA-approved treatment for snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea, targets the most common cause of primary snoring-the soft palate. During this procedure, three to four woven implants are placed into the soft palate under local anesthesia. Over time the implants, together with the bodyís natural fibrotic response, add structural support and stiffen the soft palate. This stiffening of the palate reduces its vibration during sleep and thus reduces the patientís snoring.
The Pillar Implants are made of a material that has been used in implantable medical devices for more than 50 years, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Patients can not see or commonly feel the implants, nor do they interfere with swallowing or speech. Many patients resume normal diet and activities the day of the procedure.
Clinical studies of the Pillar Procedure have shown that:
- Patients experienced a significant decrease in snoring intensity.
- Approximately 80% of patients demonstrated a reduction in their apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), and results were sustained at one year after the Pillar Procedure.
- Patients experienced less daytime sleepiness and significant improvements in lifestyle after the Pillar Procedure.
- Bed partner satisfaction with the reduction in snoring after the Pillar Procedure has been documented at 80% or higher.
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