Temperature-controlled radiofrequency tissue volume reduction in the human soft palate

Aaron E. Sher, Phillip B. Flexon, David Hillman, Brian Emery, John Swieca, Timothy L. Smith, Rosalind Cartwright, Eric Dierks, Lionel Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To validate the use of temperature-controlled radiofrequency energy applied to the soft palate in a multicenter setting for reduction of snoring in a minimally morbid manner. METHODS: Prospective, nonrandomized multicenter study of 113 patients who had a respiratory disturbance index less than 15 and minimum oxygen saturation not less than 85% and who were seeking treatment for habitual disruptive snoring. Patients were given either single or multiple lesions to the soft palate during each treatment session. RESULTS: Patients received 1978 J on average with an overall average of 2.4 treatments. Snoring scores went from an average of 7.8 (visual analog scale (VAS), 0-10) pretreatment to 3.2 posttreatment. Pain was minimal, averaging 1.7 (VAS 0-10) on days 1 to 6. Complications were few and transient, and mild. CONCLUSIONS: The multiple lesion protocol was the most successful; reducing snoring from 7.6 to 2.7, on a VAS with an average of 1232 J delivered over 1.6 treatments. Temperature-controlled radiofrequency was found to be a minimally invasive, well-tolerated procedure that was safe and efficacious in this study group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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