Pillar Procedure Snoring Treatment
800A Fifth Avenue, Suite 404
New York, NY, 10065
Snoring Treatment

Pillar Procedure Snoring Treatment

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 25% of normal adults suffer from chronic snoring. But snoring can be more than just an embarrassment or a nuisance. Chronic snoring can prevent you and your sleep partner from getting a healthy, restful night’s sleep. What’s more, snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as obstructive sleep apnea. If left untreated, sleep apnea could lead to significant health issues, including profound fatigue, heart problems, hypertension, and stroke.

There is good news for people who snore. Now there’s a simple, minimally invasive option that can treat chronic snoring and certain cases of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. At New York Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Stein offers the Pillar Procedure snoring treatment, a safe and effective procedure that can be performed in as little as 20 minutes in our New York office. Designed to provide lasting relief, the Pillar Procedure offers many benefits over more aggressive, invasive surgical treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. The Pillar Procedure for snoring is relatively painless, requires local anesthesia with optional IV Sedation, and minimizes downtime, with most patients returning to their normal activities the same day. More than 30,000 people worldwide have been treated with the Pillar Procedure. Make an appointment with Dr. Stein in our New York offices today to find out if you’re a good candidate for the innovative Pillar Procedure to treat snoring.

What causes snoring and obstructive sleep apnea?

For some people, the soft palate tissue at the back of their throat relaxes too much during sleep, causing a narrowing in their airway. When air is drawn in over the soft palate, it can cause vibrations in this tissue, leading to a snoring sound. In people with obstructive sleep apnea, the soft palate can collapse into the throat, causing a partial or total obstruction of the airway. When this happens, the sleeper will stop breathing and then wake up to resume breathing, sometimes as many as a hundred times per night. Often, people who suffer from sleep apnea are unaware that they are waking up repeatedly during the night. Sleep interruptions from chronic snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can cause daytime exhaustion, and may lead to other serious health problems.

How does the Pillar Procedure treat snoring and sleep apnea?

The Pillar Procedure, offered in Dr. Stein’s New York office, is an innovative, minimally invasive approach to treating soft palate issues that may cause or contribute to chronic snoring and sleep apnea. The Pillar Procedure employs several tiny implants to help stiffen soft palate tissue, reducing vibrations that cause snoring or can lead to airway obstruction. Recent studies* show that the Pillar Procedure can significantly reduce snoring intensity, decrease daytime sleepiness, and improve your lifestyle.

Treats chronic snoring Minimally invasive
May treat some cases of mild to
moderate sleep apnea
Can be done in doctor's office
Simple and safe procedure Only local anesthesia needed (IV sedation is also available)
Provides lasting effects Short 20 minute procedure
Minimal patient discomfort No downtime - patients return to
normal diet / activities on same day

What should I expect from the Pillar Procedure?

The Pillar Procedure for snoring is performed right in our New York offices. During the procedure, Dr. Stein will place three small implants in your soft palate tissue. The implants, less than an inch in length, are made from a woven polyester material that has been safely used for decades in implantable medical devices. These implants add structural support to help stiffen the soft palate. Over time, your body will naturally form tissue capsules around the implants, further increasing the rigidity and stability of the soft palate. Ultimately, a more structurally sound soft palate will reduce or eliminate vibrations that can cause or contribute to chronic snoring, as well as certain cases of mild to moderate sleep apnea. In most instances, the Pillar Procedure takes just 20 minutes to complete and can be done using only local anesthesia.

Compare Soft Palate Procedures

Surgical treatment options to address the soft palate component of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have traditionally involved the scarring or removal of tissue. A minimally invasive option to treat the soft palate is the Pillar Procedure from Medtronic. The table below lists common soft palate procedures for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Soft Palate Procedure Patient Visits Invasiveness Post Procedure Pain Most Likely
Potential Complications / Side Effects
The Pillar Procedure: Using local anesthetic, the physician uses a specially designed delivery tool to place three tiny implants into the soft palate to support and stiffen the palate. Procedure takes one brief visit to the physician's office. One Least
Low Partial extrusion
(less than 1%)
Sclerotherapy. A small amount of a caustic chemical (called a sclerosant) is injected into the soft palate, which burns and destroys soft palate tissues. The destroyed tissue is replaced by scar tissue that stiffens the palate. Local anesthetic is used. Multiple Ulceration and breakdown of mucosal membranes No
Radiofrequency (RF) ablation. Relatively low-level heat, generated by radiofrequency energy, is used to destroy soft palate tissue. Local anesthesia is used. Multiple Ulceration and breakdown of mucosal membranes No
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP): The surgeon uses a laser to cut away the uvula, the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of the roof of the mouth. Patient may be under local anesthetic or general anesthesia. Multiple Transient velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), a poor seal between the pharynx and soft palate, causing regurgitation of food and water when swallowing and adversely affecting speech. No
Uvulopalato-pharyngoplasty (UPPP)Surgical removal of tissue, which may include the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids, and pharynx. One Most
Very High Post-operative hemorrhage. Transient velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), a poor seal between the pharynx and soft palate, causing regurgitation of food and water when swallowing and adversely affecting speech. No

Is the Pillar Procedure painful?

The Pillar Procedure for snoring is minimally invasive. Unlike other surgical treatments for snoring, the Pillar Procedure does not require removing or damaging tissue, so patient discomfort is minimal and easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Most patients return to their normal diet and activities the very same day as the procedure.

Will I be able to see or feel the implants?

Once implanted, the inserts are not visible, cannot be felt, and won’t interfere with swallowing or speech. In a very few cases, some patients report a mild “foreign body” feeling in their throat, which is temporary and disappears within a few days after the Pillar Procedure.

How soon will I see results?

Some patients experience noticeable improvement in as a little as a few weeks after the Pillar Procedure, while other patients take up to three months to see the full effect. The Pillar Procedure for snoring is designed to offer lasting relief as long as the implants remain in place.

Am I a good candidate for the Pillar Procedure?

If your soft palate is causing or contributing to snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, the Pillar Procedure could be an excellent treatment option for you. Dr. Stein will meet with you in our New York offices to examine your airway to determine if you are a good candidate for the Pillar Procedure.

How do I get started with the Pillar Procedure?

Dr. Stein and his staff would be happy to discuss the Pillar Procedure for snoring with you. Please call 212-888-4760 or schedule an appointment online to arrange for a private consultation at our office.

*Study sources
Maurer JT, Verse T, Stuck BA, Hörmann K, Hein G. Palatal Implants for Primary Snoring: Short-Term Results of a New Minimally Invasive Surgical Technique.Otolaryngology-HNS2005 Jan; 132(1):125-31.
Maurer JT, Verse T, Stuck BA, Hörmann K, Hein G. Long-Term Results of the Pillar Palatal Implant System for Primary Snoring. Otolaryngology-HNS2005 Oct; 133(4):573-8.

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