Pillar Procedure - Any Experiences?

About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, and put on a CPAP. After a year I was fed up with the mask and seeking alternatives. I had gone on a diet and dropped 25 pounbds, reducing my level of apnea to mild-moderate. I then got a Somnodent appliance and have used it for the last 5 years or so, with success. However, ever couple of years the device breaks off, which is nerve-wracking (and I got a back up, but does not feel the same).

I have been considering the pillar procedure and a possible way to end using the oral appliance (which additionally is causing some tooth problems). Has anyone here had it done and what was the result?

I am interested in knowing if you are checking out the procedure on your own, of if you have been evaluated for it and was told it would be a good treatment option for you.

My understanding is that the implants “stiffen” the palate. The number of implants used varies from patient to patient. I’ve heard from patients who have had to return to have additional implants inserted.

One must have a very clear understanding of the anatomical causes of their sleep apnea to know what their best and most effective treatment options are. Something or a combination of anatomical anomalies causes your airway to be blocked thus resulting in sleep apnea episodes where you stop breathing. Why do YOU have sleep apnea?

Is your expectation that Pillar will eliminate your apnea?

Dear David,
I would encourage you to look at some of the other appliances. If you are in a Somnodent appliance one of the limitations of the applaicnes is that there is no lateral (side to side) movement permitted by nature of construction. I would suggest that there is some evidence that your mouth wants to move in that direction and therefore the constricted movement is taking a toll on the appliance over time. There are appliances like the Sleep Herbst and Narval that do not have these limitations offering some more movemet based on how the appliances are constructed (non dorsal fin style advancement arms or supporting rods). What I have heard with regard to the pillar implant has been about 50/50 the issue being that your obstruction being caused by a slackening or lack of tonality in the posterior tissues. As Tracy stated there is some evidence that the effects for some people can be temporary. Before you consider they surgery I would like to suggest to you to try some excercises in order to reinforce what your appliance is already doing. They are quck and easy and can be done anywhere. These will help condition the muscles that are involved in apnea and are the same ones Opera singers use. I do not know if you will be singing any Arias any time soon but you should notice an improvement over time of your breathing :slight_smile:
Sweet Dreams
Daryl Coleman
Great Lakes Orthodontics, Ltd,
Breathing Excercises here

I had the pillar procedure done about two years ago and it’s a total waste of money. Dr. Craig Schwimmer said that I have to lose 10 lbs and I should feel the result. After I lost 10 lbs nothing has changed.

Hi Castandiello:

Do you have severe obstructive sleep apnea also?

Yes, I did and the doctor knew about it. I think it’s a scam. When nothing worked, he said my uvula has to be removed. Now, not only that I’m still snoring, I occasionally get choked when eating soup because my uvula was removed.