ENT Dr. Jeff Hunt performs new snoring procedure

Dr Jeff HuntHMG otolaryngologist Dr. Jeff Hunt, is now performing a new, minimally-invasive option for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and disruptive snoring. The new Pillar® Procedure by Restore Medical, is less invasive and less painful than other surgical procedures. Additionally, it is completed in a single, short office visit.

“I became interested in this procedure simply because I was dissatisfied with the success and patient discomfort of other procedures to correct disruptive snoring,” began Hunt. “The fact that this procedure was minimally-invasive, effective and also treated mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea made it a very attractive option.”

According to Dr. Hunt, he has been pleased with the success of the procedure and the results his patients have communicated.

“Interestingly, the primary individual who is most complimentary of the procedure is the patient’s spouse,” remarks Hunt. “Most who suffer from disruptive snoring are never even aware of how detrimental their condition is to the sleep comfort of their spouse.”

According to Restore Medical, most patients soon report a noticeable, lasting reduction in sleep apnea and snoring. In long term (one year) clinical studies, sleep apnea was reduced in nearly 80% of the patients. For patients suffering from disruptive snoring, spousal satisfaction was as high as 90%. Patients also experienced less daytime sleepiness.

Hunt says one of the best aspects concerning the Pillar Procedure is patient comfort and convenience. The procedure itself is relatively painless and it is performed in the office.

The Pillar Procedure works by addressing one of the anatomical components of sleep apnea and snoring: the soft palate. During the Pillar Procedure, three tiny woven inserts are placed in the soft palate to help reduce the vibration that causes snoring and the ability of the soft palate to obstruct the airway. Once in place, the inserts add structural support to the soft palate. Over time, the body’s natural tissue response to the inserts increases the structural integrity of the soft palate.

Pillar inserts are made of material used in implantable medical devices for more than 50 years. They are designed to be invisible and should not be felt or interfere with swallowing or speech. Many patients resume normal diet and activities the same day.

Dr. Hunt is quick to caution that though this procedure has been well-received, it is not right for everyone. You have to meet certain criteria in order to be a candidate.

“Success with the Pillar Procedure can be influenced by tongue position, tonsil size, body mass and other factors,” explains Hunt.

Though the Pillar Procedure has been FDA-cleared and clinically proven, with results comparable to more aggressive surgical procedures, it is often not covered under many health plans. The approximate cost is $1,500.

For more information regarding the Pillar Procedure, please call 423-392-6299 to schedule a consultation evaluation with Dr. Hunt.