The Somnoplasty procedure uses well established technology with application to OSA. A needle probe is inserted into the tissue of the nose, palate or tongue as indicated by the site of obstruction to breathing. A small electrical current then heats the tissue, but no visible change occurs. During the following six to eight weeks the submerged wound undergoes healing, contraction and stiffening.
The intended result is relief of nasal obstruction when used to shrink the nasal turbinates, diminished snoring when used to reduce the soft palate or elimination of OSA when used for tongue reduction. The main advantages of this treatment are minimal pain and treatment in the office setting. At present, the disadvantages of Somnoplasty treatment for OSA are the need for multiple treatment sessions, overall limited clinical experience with the technique and difficulty with insurance coverage for the procedure.