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J Laryngol Otol. 2009 Jul;123(7):750-4. doi: 10.1017/S0022215109004253. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Sutter bipolar radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction of palate for snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea: is one treatment adequate?

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Pacific Sleep Centre, Singapore.



To evaluate the efficacy of bipolar radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction, using Sutter technology, in the treatment of snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea.


Prospective, non-randomised trial.


Fifty-two patients with simple snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea underwent bipolar radiofrequency palate reduction under local anaesthesia.


All patients were Friedman stage II and III, with tonsil sizes graded as zero, one or two, a mean body mass index of 22.6, and a mean age of 36.2 years. Seventy-seven per cent of patients reported improvement in their snoring; patients' mean snoring level (assessed by visual analogue scale) improved from 8.9 to 3.4 (p < 0.05). Eighty-three per cent of patients reported an improvement in their Epworth sleepiness scale score, from a mean of 14.6 to 9.5. Seven out of the 17 patients (41.2 per cent) met the surgical success criteria (i.e. at least a 50 per cent reduction of the pre-procedure apnoea-hypopnoea index, and a post-procedure apnoea-hypopnoea index of below 15). Patients' mean apnoea-hypopnoea index improved from 13.6 to 9.8, and their mean lowest oxygen saturation improved from 88.3 to 92.5 per cent. Eighty-two per cent of patients reported an improvement in their quality of life as a result of the procedure.


One session of Sutter bipolar radiofrequency tissue volume reduction represents a viable method of treating snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnoea, with good results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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