Radiofrequency better tolerated than laser treatment for snoring

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Compared with the standard laser-assisted uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (LAUP) for the treatment of snoring, controlled temperature radiofrequency (RF) is as effective and it is associated with significantly less pain, French researchers report.

Dr. Frיdיric Chabolle and colleagues, from Hopital Foch, Suresnes, studied 15 patients who underwent LAUP and 15 who underwent RF treatment for snoring, according to their report in the January issue of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Both LAUP and RF significantly reduced snoring volume; 79.5% with RF treatment (p < 0.01) and 66.2% with LAUP therapy (p < 0.01), the researchers report. Of patients undergoing RF therapy, 86.6% were satisfied with the result, as were 66.6% of the patients who underwent LAUP. The overall success rate of RF was 80% and for LAUP it was 46.6%, Dr. Chabolle's team notes.

However, patients in the LAUP group had significantly more pain in the first 7 days after treatment compared with patients is the RA group (p < 0.05), and more pain in the first 18 days after treatment (p < 0.01), the French team found.

In addition, patients in the LAUP group took significantly more analgesics compared with patients in the RA group (p < 0.01). After the procedures, patients in the RF group were on a soft diet for a mean of 1.6 days while those in the LAUP group spent a mean of 3.3 days on a soft diet, the investigators add.

Dr. Chabolle and colleagues conclude that "numerous patients have been reluctant to have their snoring treated because they have heard that surgical procedures such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and LAUP were painful. RF on the soft palate can be used safely to treat patients with habitual snoring who have a retrovelar site of obstruction; it is associated with low levels of pain."

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