Currently, in the domestic popular medical literature and advertisements, laser treatment of snoring is presented as the only and most effective method for eliminating snoring. Here are some quotes:
- “The developed and patented laser treatment of snoring allows you to cope with this phenomenon in just 1 session.”
- “Treatment of snoring with a laser on an outpatient basis for several minutes, with practically no cases of bleeding in the tissue in most patients – complete elimination of snoring, the rest will improve significantly, only a tiny percentage of patients do not respond to treatment.”
- “Treatment of snoring with a laser has a number of important advantages over others. The operation is carried out on an outpatient basis, absolutely painless, bloodless, in just 10-15 minutes without subsequent disability, eliminating a serious problem for many years.”
- “CO2 laser is an excellent treatment for snoring with a laser. One session is required for the treatment, and the efficiency is 95% ”.
Unfortunately, the reality is very far from advertisements. In October 2010, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published Clinical Practice Guidelines for Upper Airway Surgery for Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults [Aurora RN et al. Practice parameters for the surgical modifications of the upper airway for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. // Sleep. – 2010.0 Vol. 33.- N. 10.- P. 1408-1413]. These guidelines, at the standard level (highest level of evidence), determine that laser uvulopalatoplasty * is not recommended in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
This is justified by the following phrase: “Laser uvulopalatoplasty usually does not lead to a normalization of the apnea / hypopnea index ** and does not provide a significant improvement in other parameters. Since there is no significant improvement after laser uvulopalatoplasty, there is a possibility of worsening of the condition, there are potential problems associated with perioperative pain and complications, then the routine use of this procedure is contrary to the interests of the patient. “
* – Laser uvulopalatoplasty is a laser treatment for snoring, which implies the effect of laser radiation on the soft palate, uvula and palatine arches. ** – Apnea / hypopnea index – the frequency of episodes of complete and partial stops per hour, reflecting the severity of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
In Moscow, about 50 centers are engaged in surgical treatment of snoring, including laser treatment of snoring. However, only a few centers have the equipment to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, which is a contraindication for laser snoring. Thus, in most patients, interventions are carried out without establishing the correct diagnosis and determining clear indications and contraindications for surgery. This, in turn, leads to a significant number of complications and ineffectiveness of laser snoring treatment.
More details on the problem of surgical treatment of snoring and sleep apnea can be found in the article “Laser and radio frequency interventions in the palate during snoring and sleep apnea – myths and reality.” The article is intended for physicians who choose a snoring treatment for their patients and for patients who consent to the proposed treatment.