Pillar Implant System (Pillar Procedure)

Treatment of Snoring With Pillar Implant

Definition of Pillar Implant 

Pillar Implant System is an implant system which is developed for soft palate, placed inside the soft palate and provides the soft palate to be stretched upwards. Generally, the placement of 3 implants in the soft palate causes hardening and stretching of the tissue in this region. It can only be done in a doctor's office in about 20 minutes, using local anesthetics and is relatively painless. It can be easily applied in the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The Pillar ® Procedure is a simple, safe and effective treatment procedure designed to stop snoring, providing a soft palate curing and a soft palate placement of implants (The Pillar Palatal Implant System).

The Pillar Implant System is an implant system developed for the soft palate, placed in the soft palate and allowing the soft palate to rise upwards. Placing 3 implants in a soft palate usually causes the tissue on this area to harden and stretch.

Snoring is often caused by the vibration of tissues in the throat, particularly the soft palate. The Pillar Implant System targets this issue by reinforcing the soft palate with small, woven implants. These implants are made of a biocompatible material called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has been used in medical devices for many years.

The Pillar Implant procedure is typically performed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It is an outpatient procedure that can be done under local anesthesia. During the procedure, three to six tiny implants are inserted into the soft palate using a special delivery tool. The implants are strategically placed to provide support and stiffen the soft palate, reducing its tendency to vibrate and produce snoring sounds.

The implants work by reinforcing the soft palate and improving its stability. This reduces the likelihood of the soft palate collapsing and obstructing the airway during sleep, which is a common cause of snoring and sleep apnea. By keeping the airway open and reducing tissue vibration, the Pillar Implant System can significantly reduce snoring and improve sleep quality.

The procedure itself is relatively quick, usually taking about 15 to 30 minutes. It is associated with minimal discomfort, and most patients can resume their normal activities shortly after the procedure. Some individuals may experience a mild sore throat or discomfort in the first few days following the implantation, but these symptoms typically resolve quickly.

The Pillar Implant System has been shown to be effective in reducing snoring and improving sleep quality in many patients. However, it is important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. A thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional is necessary to determine if the Pillar Implant System is the right treatment option for an individual's specific condition.

Overall, the Pillar Implant System offers a minimally invasive and effective solution for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. By providing structural support to the soft palate, it can significantly reduce snoring and improve sleep quality, leading to better overall health and well-being.

Why Pillar Implants Used For Treatment Of Snoring?

The Pillar Procedure ensures that the loose and oscillating soft palate area, which causes snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is hardened and tightened. In this way, in the case of sleep, the airway narrows and snoring is reduced. Over time, the fibrotic tissue response occurs, allowing the implants to wrap around them, and to soften the soft palate upwards. In this way, the effects of snoring and sleep apnea treatment may occur during the months, night sweats, tired wake up, sleep satisfaction, such as reduction in complaints can be eliminated.

How to apply Pillar Implant?

It can only be done in a doctor's office in about 20 minutes using a local anesthetic and is a relatively painless procedure. Snoring can be easily applied in the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The Pillar Procedure allows the loose and vibrating soft palate area, which causes snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), to harden and tense. In this way, sleeping and airway narrowing and snoring are reduced. Over time, a fibrotic tissue response arises that allows the implants to wrap around them and fix the soft wrist to cure upwards.

The implants used in the Pillar Procedure are manufactured from a woven polyester material used in implantable medical devices for more than 50 years. Pillar implants are approximately 1,778 centimeters long and 0.2032 centimeters wide.
Video of Pillar Procedure
Details of Pillar Pocedure Video
During the Pillar Procedure, a specially trained ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor or other Pillar Procedure Specialist places 3 small woven implants into the soft palate using a sterile placement tool. A fibrotic tissue that fixes the implant due to the natural healing response of the body over time and enables the soft palate to harden and stretch, also reduces tissue vibration that causes snoring. Implants also prevent soft palate collapse that causes upper airway obstruction and sleep apnea.

Misconceptions Related to "Pillar Implant"

The Pillar ® Procedure is an application for the implantation of implants called "Pillar Implants" for the treatment of snoring and simple sleep apnea.

No tissue changes or changes are made during the Pillar Procedure!

No tissue changes or changes are made during the Pillar Procedure. Tissue resection is not performed and the complication rate is very low. The reported complication rate is less than 1% due to more than 45,000 applied Pillar Implant System worldwide. The most commonly reported minor complication is a partial extrusion of the implant (the implant goes out of tissue).

"Pillar Implant", Battery-Free and Structure Is Not Titanium or Metal!

In this system, the name of the implants "Pillar" may suggest that patients may be a battery or an electrical system, but this treatment procedure does not use batteries or electricity.
The battery system "neurostimulator" and pillar implant, which can be placed in the tongue root in sleep apnea, are very different applications.

Again, because of the word "implant" in the name of this system, it can be thought that this system may contain titanium or any metal, such as titanium dental implants; however, Pillar Implants do not contain metal but only polyester-like structure.

Pillar Implant is made of polyester-like material in skin stitches used for many years. These 18mm x 2mm sized implants, which are made of spiral wrapped material on each other, cause the soft palate to harden, resulting in a healing response in 2-4 months after placement in the soft palate. In other words, these implants only prevent the soft palate area from becoming harder and the airway closes in the relaxation phase. In order to be effective, it is necessary to pass 2-4 months since the application area and fibrosis need to start. This effect has been shown to last for at least 10 years or longer.

Pillar Implant Is Ineffective In Airway Narrowing Except Soft Palate Problems!

Implants are placed in the soft palate in the Pillar Implant method. In people with complaints of snoring and softness due to sagging and softening of the soft palate during sleep, these implants are an effective treatment method that can be applied without pain, bloodless general anesthesia.

Patients with sleep apnea and snoring should be evaluated in detail. The regulation of treatments for all areas that contracted or closed during sleep in airlines increases the chance of success. As can be seen in the photo below, only the Pillar Implant application will not be sufficient for the treatment of a patient in whom the tonsils are quite large, the uvula is flaccid droopy.

No Change In Voice, Speech or Swallowing After Pillar Implants Are Applied! 

In the Pillar Implant application, only 3 to 5 implants are inserted into the soft palate. There are no anatomic changes in the throat and neck. Therefore, no changes in voice and speech are expected. In the early period after the application, it can be seen that there is a catching sensation in the palate area. Usually this feeling decreases during the days, but the difficulty of swallowing is not observed.

About The Palatal Snoring

Palatal snoring, also known as palatal flutter or palatal flapping, is a common form of snoring that occurs due to the vibration of the soft tissues in the back of the throat, specifically the soft palate. The soft palate is the flexible area located at the roof of the mouth, towards the back.

During sleep, the muscles in the throat relax, including the muscles in the soft palate. As a person breathes in and out, the airflow can cause the relaxed soft palate to vibrate, resulting in the characteristic snoring sound. Palatal snoring is often described as a rumbling, rattling, or flapping noise.

Several factors contribute to palatal snoring. These include:

1. Relaxation of throat muscles: When the muscles in the throat relax excessively during sleep, the soft palate becomes more prone to vibration.

2. Narrowed airway: An anatomically narrow or constricted airway can increase the likelihood of tissue vibration, including the soft palate.

3. Obesity or excess weight: Extra fat deposits in the throat can put pressure on the airway, leading to narrowing and increased snoring.

4. Alcohol consumption and sedatives: These substances can relax the muscles even further, exacerbating palatal snoring.

5. Nasal congestion: Blocked nasal passages force the individual to breathe through the mouth, which can intensify the vibration of the soft palate.

Addressing palatal snoring often involves a combination of lifestyle changes, positional therapy, and, in some cases, medical interventions. Here are some common approaches:

1. Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can reduce the severity of snoring. Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime may also help.

2. Sleep position: Sleeping on the side instead of the back can prevent the soft palate from collapsing against the back of the throat, reducing snoring.

3. Nasal congestion management: Clearing nasal congestion through methods like saline nasal rinses, decongestants, or nasal strips can promote better breathing through the nose, minimizing mouth breathing and associated snoring.

4. Oral appliances: Custom-fitted dental devices, such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs), can help reposition the jaw and tongue, opening the airway and reducing snoring.

5. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): In cases of severe snoring or sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may be prescribed. This device delivers a constant stream of air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep.

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a sleep specialist or otolaryngologist, to determine the underlying cause of palatal snoring and to receive personalized recommendations. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation, suggest appropriate treatment options, and guide you towards the most effective approach to manage your snoring and improve your sleep quality.

About The Droopy Soft Palate

A droopy soft palate, also known as a palatal laxity or palatal weakness, refers to a condition where the soft palate at the back of the throat is excessively relaxed or lacks proper muscle tone. This can contribute to various symptoms and complications, including snoring, sleep-disordered breathing, and even obstructive sleep apnea.

The soft palate is a flexible structure made up of muscles and tissues that separates the oral cavity from the nasopharynx. It plays a crucial role in preventing food and fluids from entering the nasal passages during swallowing. Additionally, the soft palate helps regulate airflow during breathing, especially during sleep.

When the soft palate is weakened or lax, it may not function optimally, leading to a range of problems. Some common signs and symptoms associated with a droopy soft palate include:

1. Snoring: The relaxed soft palate can vibrate more easily as air passes through, causing snoring sounds during sleep.

2. Sleep-disordered breathing: A droopy soft palate can contribute to sleep-disordered breathing conditions such as upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In these conditions, the airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep, leading to disrupted breathing patterns, pauses in breathing, and reduced oxygen levels.

3. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue: Due to disrupted sleep patterns caused by the compromised airflow, individuals with a droopy soft palate may experience excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

The causes of a droopy soft palate can vary. Some common factors that can contribute to this condition include:

1. Age: As individuals age, the tissues in the soft palate can lose elasticity and tone, resulting in laxity.

2. Genetic predisposition: Some people may have a naturally weaker or more relaxed soft palate, which increases their susceptibility to snoring and related issues.

3. Muscle weakness or neurological conditions: Certain neuromuscular conditions or muscle weakness disorders can affect the muscles of the soft palate, leading to laxity.

4. Chronic nasal congestion: Constant nasal congestion and mouth breathing can place strain on the soft palate, potentially leading to laxity over time.

Treatment options for a droopy soft palate aim to address the underlying causes and alleviate symptoms. These may include:

1. Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, and adopting proper sleep hygiene practices can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

2. Positional therapy: Sleeping on the side instead of the back can help minimize the obstruction caused by a droopy soft palate.

3. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): In cases of moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing, a CPAP machine may be recommended. CPAP delivers a constant flow of air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep.

4. Oral appliances: Dental devices such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or tongue-retaining devices (TRDs) can help reposition the jaw or tongue, opening up the airway and reducing snoring and breathing disturbances.

5. Surgical interventions: In some cases, surgical procedures may be considered to address the underlying anatomical issues. These can include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), palatal implants, or other palate-strengthening techniques.

It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an otolaryngologist or sleep specialist, to evaluate the specific condition and determine the most appropriate treatment approach for a droopy soft palate. They will conduct a thorough examination, review medical history, and discuss the available options to develop a personalized treatment plan.

About Treatment of Snoring

The treatment of snoring depends on the underlying causes and severity of the condition. Snoring can range from a minor inconvenience to a sign of a more serious sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Here are some common treatment approaches for snoring:

1. Lifestyle modifications:
   - Weight management: Losing excess weight can reduce the fatty tissue around the neck and throat, which can contribute to snoring.
   - Sleep position: Sleeping on your side instead of your back can help keep the airway open and reduce the likelihood of snoring.
   - Avoiding alcohol and sedatives: These substances relax the muscles in the throat, making snoring more likely. Avoiding them before bedtime can help alleviate snoring.

2. Nasal congestion management:
   - Clearing nasal passages: Using saline nasal sprays or rinses, decongestants, or nasal strips can help open up the nasal passages, reducing mouth breathing and snoring.
   - Treating allergies: Addressing underlying allergies through medication or allergy shots can improve nasal congestion and reduce snoring.

3. Oral appliances:
   - Mandibular advancement devices (MADs): These dental devices are worn in the mouth during sleep and help reposition the jaw, tongue, and soft tissues to keep the airway open.
   - Tongue-retaining devices (TRDs): Similar to MADs, TRDs hold the tongue in a forward position, preventing it from obstructing the airway.

4. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP):
   - CPAP machines deliver a constant flow of air pressure through a mask worn over the nose or nose and mouth. This keeps the airway open during sleep, preventing snoring and treating sleep apnea if present.

5. Palatal procedures:
   - Palatal implants: Small rods are implanted into the soft palate to stiffen it and reduce snoring vibrations.
   - Radiofrequency ablation: This procedure applies radiofrequency energy to the tissues of the soft palate, causing controlled scarring and tightening of the tissue.
   - Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP): Laser energy is used to remove or reshape the uvula and part of the soft palate, creating a larger airway passage.

6. Surgical interventions:
   - Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): This surgery removes excess tissue from the throat, including the uvula, tonsils, and part of the soft palate.
   - Palatal advancement surgery: The position of the soft palate is surgically altered to increase airflow and reduce snoring.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an otolaryngologist or sleep specialist, to determine the most appropriate treatment for your snoring. They will evaluate your symptoms, conduct any necessary tests, and recommend the most suitable approach based on your individual needs and the severity of your snoring.

Link group where you can read articles about snoring published on this website >> https://www.ent-istanbul.com/search?q=snoring

You can find details at >> Long-term results of pillar implant procedure

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

Private Office:
Address: İncirli Cad. No:41, Kat:4 (Dilek Patisserie Building), Postal code: 34147, Bakırköy - İstanbul
Appointment Phone: +90 212 561 00 52
E-Mail: muratenoz@gmail.com
Mobile phone: +90 533 6550199
Fax: +90 212 542 74 47


  1. Thankful to you for this post. This article is really very helpful for those who are looking for Throat Doctor in Los Angeles Depending on the severity of your snoring and other symptoms, your doctor may want to conduct a sleep study. Sleep studies may sometimes be done at home.


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