New procedure can permanently stop snoring

If you snore when you sleep, you are not alone. Stores nationwide sell anti-snoring pillows, anti-snoring machines, and even anti-snoring tape.

In fact, there are more than 300 devices registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office to help people get a quiet night's sleep.

But now, a new procedure is silencing the snoring once and for all.

About 55 million Americans snore, and Larry Ellis is not one of them anymore.

Larry said, "I was in need of some help."

Dr. Matthew Mingrone Medical Director at Sereno: The Center for Snoring Solutions sees up to ten patients a day just like Larry and Jay.

Jay Lamm snores constantly. He said, "My wife would wear ear plugs and taco the pillow around her head every night."

After 15 years of sawing logs, Jay is getting the Pillar procedure.

Four to six tiny polyester implants are placed into his soft palate. The implants add support, reducing the tissue vibration that causes snoring.

Dr. Mingrone said, "These implants are like putting a batten on a sail - to stiffen it."

Done under local anesthesia, the entire procedure takes 15 minutes. Some patients deal with sore throats for a few days afterward. Results can be heard within days, but improvements can take up to six months.

Dr. Mingrone said, "This is ... absolutely ... can be life changing."

Larry said, "I can breathe better through my nose. 46 it's so good now, in the evening when I go to sleep, I can breathe through my nose."

The procedure costs $3,500, but can be a permanent fix.

Still, consistent snore-ers can make lifestyle changes to curb their condition.

Smoking, alcohol, and stress can all cause snoring.

Research Summary:

REPORT #1760

BACKGROUND: The Pillar procedure is a treatment designed to help relieve snoring and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that causes individuals to pause their breathing during sleep). As you sleep, the muscles in the soft palate (the fleshy portion of your throat), tongue and throat relax. If these tissues relax too much they vibrate and can cause snoring. So far, more than 30,000 people have turned to the Pillar Procedure for help. (SOURCE:

THE PROCEDURE: The procedure is relatively painless and can be performed in a doctor's office in less than 20 minutes, using only local anesthetic. During the procedure, three tiny polyester rods are placed into the soft palate. The inserts help reduce both the vibration that causes snoring and the ability of the soft palate to obstruct the airway. Over time, the rods add structural support to the soft palate and prevent palatal fluttering (snoring). (SOURCE:

THE COMPLICATIONS: There have been no reported major complications as a result of the Pillar procedure. Since the procedure doesn't involve removing or destroying tissue, there is a low risk of complication. In fact the reported rate for all complications is less than one percent. The most commonly reported complication is a partial extrusion. This happens when the implant is placed too shallow or too deep, and the tip of the implant protrudes through the surface of the soft palate tissue. If this happens the physician should remove the implant and replace it with a new implant. Most of the minor complications that occur are temporary and are resolved within one to three days. Other complications may include a sore throat, infection, a change of voice or taste, and swelling. (SOURCE: (SOURCE:

THE RESULTS: Patients may notice results as early as the day after the procedure. Within just 24 hours some patients report a decrease in snoring. Since the soft palate often becomes more rigid over time as the tissue hardens around the implants, it could take a few months before a patient feels the full effects of the procedure. Once the rods are implanted, they generally aren't removed. Because the Pillar procedure is relatively new, it's not yet clear how long the implants will be effective. (SOURCE: Mayo Clinic)

* For More Information, Contact:
Clark Hsu
Sereno Media Relations
(415) 486-3288

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