J Rhinol.  2011 Nov;18(2):89-93.

Effect of Palatal Implants on Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea. jaehoon@kuh.ac.kr


Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are caused by the vibration and narrowing of upper airway structures, and the soft palate is believed to be the most common obstruction site. Several surgical procedures for the soft palate have been introduced, but are frequently accompanied by low success rates and morbidities. The ideal surgical procedure is minimally invasive, single-staged, and has minimum morbidity. Palatal implants are a new treatment modality for snoring and mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The implants induce foreign body responses with subsequent fibrosis and submucosal scarring in the soft palate, which improves snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The effectiveness of implants has been demonstrated in recent studies. After insertion, snoring intensity is decreased 32-66%. For mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients, apnea-hypopnea index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores are decreased 17-50% and 18-43%, respectively. No severe complications have been reported and the extrusion rate is usually less than 10-20%. In conclusion, soft palate implants are effective in some patients and are very safe. However, to collect more comprehensive data about the effectiveness of palatal implants, more studies are needed.


Palatal implants; Snoring; Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
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