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Pillar procedure to treat snoring:
The vibrations and collapse of soft palate contribute to the pathophysiology of snoring and sleep apnoea. When this tissue flutters / vibrates during breathing causing snoaring to occur. The collapse of upper air way tissues (soft palate, uvula, tonsils and adenoid) can cause obstruction to the upper airway. The collapse is more during sleep because there is no support for these tissues, and hence has a tendency to collapse.
How the pillar implant system works?
The Pillar Palatal Implant System changes the soft palate structure and its response to airflow. In this procedure three implants are placed into the muscles of soft palate. These implants not only adds support to the soft palate, it also stiffens it preventing it from fluttering during the process of inspiration. As in the case of jet panes where the maximum amount of lift is generated below the wings, the maximum amount of lift forces are generated at the junction of the hard and soft palate. Insertion of implants in this area prevents these forces of lift.
The body’s healing process comes in to play after the insertion of these implants. These implants stimulate fibrosis and overgrowth of fibrous tissue around the implant further stiffens it. This stiffening increases the “critical” air speed required to initiate palate movement, leading to a decrease in snoring and a reduction in the ability of the soft palate to obstruct the airway.
These implants should be placed as close to each other as possible without coming in to actual contact. The minimum distance should be at least 2mm from the implant. This distance is a must for optimal fibrous deposition.
Indication: Pillar implants are indicated in
1. Reduction of snoring caused by flutter of soft palate
2. Reduction of sleep apnoea in patients with upper air way obstruction