Snoring: Causes, Symptoms, and Impact of Pillar Implant Procedure

Approximately 70 million people in the US suffer from snoring or sleep apnea. It disrupts the normal sleep cycle and has an impact on your sleep quality. Though occasional snoring isn’t a concern, habitual snoring may lead to serious medical issues such as sleep apnea, developing due to palatal tissue collapse. It may require treatment in the form of medication or palatal implant – a minimally invasive procedure. To educate further, this blog post discusses the causes and symptoms of snoring, as well as the effectiveness of Pillar Implant Procedure as a possible treatment option.

Causes of Snoring

It occurs due to obstruction of the flow of air through the mouth and nose. The obstruction can be due to one or more of the following reasons:

Nasal Airway Obstruction

Structural deformities in the nasal passages such as deviated septum and allergic reactions can obstruct the flow of air through the nose and lead to snoring problems.

Weak Throat Muscle Tone

When the throat or tongue muscles are too relaxed, they collapse and fall back into the airway and results in snoring. Loosening of throat muscles gradually happens with age, during deep sleep, prolonged use of sleeping pills and alcohol consumption.

In addition, people who are overweight have bulky throat tissues may also develop snoring.


The primary symptom of snoring is the loud, harsh and hoarse noises made while sleeping and frequent sleep disturbances. Other notable symptoms are:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Mood swings, depression or irritability
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Gasping during the sleep, leading to sleep apnea
  • Morning headaches

In addition to these, patients encountering frequent snoring issues also wake up with a dry and sore throat at night.

Pillar Implant Treatment

If medications do not prove to be too effective, Pillar implant procedure is a viable option to treat the condition without any major surgery. Pillar implant is a simple procedure that is performed either in a single short visit or combination with other procedures. The procedure doesn’t require implant preparation, as the implants come preloaded in an insertion device. In most cases, three to five small implants are inserted into the back of the throat, at the point where the hard palate meets the soft palate. Made of synthetic polyethylene terephthalate, the implants are planted on the palatal tissues that induce fibrosis to reduce the tissue vibrations that are the root cause of snoring.


Pillar palatal implant is a simple, yet effective, procedure to provide relief from snoring and sleep apnea. It is a small procedure, with most patients being able to resume regular activities and diet within 24 hours. Clinical studies suggest significant downfall in snoring intensity and also reduces snoring complaints. Approximately 80 percent patients reported relief from sleep apnea and snoring symptoms for almost a year after undergoing the palatal procedure.


The overall risks and complications related to the procedure are minimal. The most common, but minor, complication reported by patients is a partial extrusion of an implant. The implant, however, cannot be reinserted into the incision and needs to be replaced with a new one. In addition, possible post-procedure complications include pain, bleeding, and infection.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Though the overall cost of the procedures varies, on an overage, you are looking at approximately $2,500. Unfortunately, most insurance companies regard pillar implant as a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, the patients usually have to pay out of their pockets.

Last Few Words

Neglecting perpetual snoring may result in more serious issues such as sleep apnea, leading to a shortage of breath during the sleep, which may have a number of implications. If you or someone you suffers from chronic snoring, it is advisable to consult an ENT specialists. If medicines do not work, do not hesitate in going for pillar implant procedure. However, make sure you choose a specialist with proven expertise in performing the procedure. If you wish to learn more, contact Dr. Kuperan with Houston Advanced Nose and Sinus are always there to help. You can request an appointment by calling (713) 791-0700.

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