FAQs About Sleep Apnea and the Pillar Procedure

About Sleep Apnea and the Pillar Procedure

How many people are affected by chronic snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 75 million Americans (1 in 4) suffer from chronic snoring.1 Approximately 59 million people in the United States suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), 15 million of which are moderate to severe cases.2

What are the risks if I choose not to have my obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treated?

Because of the serious disturbances in normal sleep patterns, people with sleep apnea often feel very sleepy during the day, and their concentration and daytime performance suffer. The consequences of untreated sleep apnea range from annoying to life-threatening; symptoms include depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work, on the phone, or driving. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea patients are at least 6 times more likely to have automobile accidents.3 Additionally, it has been estimated that up to 50% of sleep apnea patients have high blood pressure.4 Also, the risk for heart attack and stroke increases for those people with sleep apnea.5

I have sleep apnea. Am I a candidate to try the Pillar Procedure?

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment can be complex and may involve other treatments and lifestyle changes to address multi-level upper airway obstruction. The Pillar Procedure is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and can be an effective first step in your journey to a better night's sleep.

The most common obstructive sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and this should always be tried first if prescribed by your doctor. However, roughly 50% of patients who try CPAP cannot tolerate this treatment. There are also sleep apnea surgeries that remove or alter tissue at the back of the throat, such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). These surgical procedures are invasive and often painful options that can require weeks of recovery time and pain management medications.

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