View Full Version : A possible path to a quieter night's sleep

13-Feb-11, 17:48
Will you snore no more with private surgery?

THOSE of you who followed my previous column, Wicker’s World, in the Groat, will know that the subject of snoring got a mention, now and again.
The problem tends to attract some humour, particularly in cartoons, with the bedclothes rising and falling with the emissions from hubby, dad or grandpaw...and there are women who snore. However, as sufferers will know, it is no laughing matter. Sleep is disrupted, leaving the snorer feeling as if he has never been in bed and spouses are frequently forced to retreat to the spare room.
The cure under the NHS involves cutting back the fleshy part of the palate. It is a painful procedure, not to be recommended, particularly as the success rate ranges from 10 per cent to 70 percent, not enough for me, at any rate, to brave the pain barrier.
Some of your may have noticed an advert on the tele for the Private Clinic, based in Harley Street, London. I dashed off an e-mail to them and was advised to download a considerable amount of information about the clinic and the variety of procedures, it undertakes, for both men and women, and not just for snoring.
The information states that the reason why a variety of other remedies may fail to work is that there’s no one cure for snoring, as everyone snores for different reasons. This is why it is very important, says the clinic to try to pinpoint why you snore, before you take matters further. For example, if you snore on your back, it may be that the tongue falls back and impedes your airway. If you have your mouth open, this may be the problem. Or it could be a difficulty with the nose, such as a block, stuffy nose, or a deviated septum. Other factors that can play a part include excess weight or alcohol consumption.
The private clinic offers the latest laser and radio frequency procedures to treat snoring and have done so for the past 28 years. A simple procedure is performed under anaesthetic. You sit in a chair, like you do at the dentist, while an ear, nose and throat surgeon uses a laser to remodel the excess vibrating soft tissue at the back of your throat. Studies have shown that the resulting freeing of the airways, and increased oxygen supply, can not only prevent snoring but lift the mood, increase energy levels and improve the memory. A radio frequency is used to tighten the muscle within the soft palate to that it vibrates far less during sleep. The procedure involves numbing the back of the throat with a local anaesthetic and targeting it with a slim pen that emits a high frequency. The heat causes the muscle to tighten which it continues to do in the ensuing weeks, with the maximum effect being achieved after six months. I can’t find anything that says it cures your snoring but I suppose any reduction in the habit, would be worthwhile. I daresay the clinic has a percentage on success rates.
And the cost? Well I canvassed that with the clinic and it could be anything between 1000 and 1,700. Not bad for 15 minutes work, eh! I suppose, in the field of private medicine, it is chicken feed but I, for one, don’t have that kind of money going spare. Maybe, I’ll have to do a little serious saving. If you Google, The Private Clinic, you will get all the information you require. Free assessments are carried out in Edinburgh with the painless, 15-minute, procedure being carried out in Manchester. I would run it past your GP first before committing yourself, if you consider going for it. There are usually some potential side effects with most medical procedures and it would be wise to check that out, too.