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Medical Research

A paper presented at the ASSOHNS ENT Conference in Perth in 2003.
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Brief summary of medical study

Snoring Cessation using radiofrequency treatment of the soft palate


A preliminary analysis of 119 cases
(As presented at the ASSOHNS Australasian ENT conference, Perth, March 2002)
A North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand experience
Neil A Hutchison, FRNZCGP and Andrew D Murley, FRNZCGP,
Family Practitioners
Waiake Medical Centre, Torbay


To assess the efficacy of radiofrequency tissue volume reduction (RFTVR) treatment to the soft palate in reducing snoring (using “Surgitron” equipment) as a simple office procedure.


A non-randomised, prospective study of 119 patients who underwent some simple clinical testing to best categorise them into:

  • sound originating from the soft palate
  • sound originating from the tongue
  • nasal obstruction as a contributory factor

As seemed appropriate, the options for management were:

  • radiofrequency to the soft palate, and/or:
  • radiofrequency to the turbinates




Marked reduction in snoring volume with one procedure consisting RFTVR to two sites in the soft palate. 

After the first procedure, 79.6 % of patients had improved, the mean improvement being 4.65 on the snoring scale. 

After the second procedure (n = 35), 62 % of patients had a further improvement, the mean improvement being 2.36 on the snoring scale. 

Marked reduction in the average scores of snoring disruptiveness across the full range of BMIs. 

Slightly improved scores in most BMI categories for the combined palate and turbinate patients.


The minor surgical procedure of radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction is a valuable tool in the management of the snoring patient across the range of BMIs.

There may be an advantage in treating severely congested turbinates concurrently.

The success rates, minimal pain, and economy of the RFVTR to the palate make this office minor surgery an attractive alternative for the patient.

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