FAQs About the Pillar Procedure Snoring Remedy and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Click on the questions to reveal the answers.
What are the benefits of the Pillar Procedure?
The Pillar® Procedure is a simple, effective treatment for chronic snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The Pillar Procedure can be performed in a single, brief visit to the physician’s office or in combination with additional procedures to treat other areas of upper airway obstruction. It takes about 20 minutes, causes minimal discomfort, and most patients resume normal diet and activities the same day of the procedure.
Clinical studies have shown that:
- Patients experienced a significant decrease in snoring intensity.1,2
- Bed partner satisfaction with the reduction in snoring after the Pillar Procedure has been documented at 80% or higher.1,2
- Approximately 80% of patients demonstrated a reduction in their sleep apnea hypopnea index (AHI), and results were sustained at one year after the Pillar Procedure.3 (AHI is an index used to assess the severity of sleep apnea, based on the total number of complete cessations, called apnea, and partial obstructions, called hypopnea, of breathing that occur per hour of sleep. These pauses in breathing must last for at least 10 seconds and are associated with a decrease in oxygenation of the blood. In general, an AHI of 5-15 is considered mild, 15-30 is considered moderate, and greater than 30 is considered severe.)
- Patients experienced less daytime sleepiness and significant improvements in lifestyle after the Pillar Procedure.4
Once the snoring problem has been resolved, couples can share a bed again, enjoy a more restful sleep, and live a healthier lifestyle.
How many patients have been treated with the Pillar Procedure?
More than 45,000 people worldwide have been treated with the Pillar® Procedure.
How big is the implant? What does it look like?
Each tiny, highly engineered and precisely woven Pillar® Procedure implant is approximately 0.7 inches (18 mm) and has an outer diameter of approximately 0.08 inches (2 mm). The implants are woven from a polyester material that has been used for more than 50 years in implantable medical products.
Will I notice the implants in my palate?
You should not be able to see or feel the Pillar® Procedure implants in your soft palate. A small percentage of patients report feeling a minor “foreign body sensation” after the procedure. This sensation is temporary and should subside and go away within a few days after the procedure.
Will there be any change in my speech or will I have any difficulty swallowing?
There have been no reports of patients experiencing changes in speech or difficulty swallowing following the Pillar® Procedure.
What kind of complications have you seen?
Since the Pillar® Procedure does not involve removing or destroying tissue, the risk of complication is extremely low. There have been no reported major adverse events as a result of the Pillar Procedure. With more than 45,000 Pillar Procedures performed worldwide, the reported complication rate is less than 1%. The most frequently reported minor complication is a partial extrusion of an implant. A partial extrusion occurs when the implant is placed too shallow or too deep, and the tip of the implant protrudes through the surface of the soft palate tissue. If a partial extrusion occurs, the physician can remove the implant. For additional information on complications, see the complete Safety Information.
How much does the Pillar Procedure cost?
A doctor determines the price for the Pillar® Procedure in his or her practice. Prices vary between practices. You can locate physicians who offer the Pillar Procedure by using our Find a Specialist.
Will my health insurance or Medicare cover the Pillar Procedure?
Snoring treatment is considered to be cosmetic, and typically is not covered by health insurance or Medicare. Contact your health insurance provider to see what your coverage may be.
I want to have the Pillar Procedure to stop snoring. What do I do next?
Congratulations, you’ve decided to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle for you and your bed partner. The first step is to make an appointment with an ENT doctor or Pillar® Procedure specialist for an initial consultation. The Pillar Procedure requires specific training, so to find a qualified doctor in your area, use our Find a Specialist.
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- 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-HNS 2005 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-HNS 2005 Oct; 133(4):573-8.
- Goessler UR, Hein G. Verste T, Stuck BA, Hörmann K, Maurer JT. Soft palate implants as a minimally invasive treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Acta Otolaryngol. 2007 May; 127(5):527-31.
- Data on file.