Laser Snoring Cessation Treatment
What is NIGHTLASE?
Nightlase™ is a fast, non-invasive, technique using Fotona Laser’s LightWalker ATS Laser to increase the quality of a person’s sleep. Specifically, it involves the use of the Er:YAG part of this twin laser with a specially designed hand piece to warm, condition, strengthen, tighten, and shrink the parapharyngeal tissues causing snoring and sleep apnea problems. There is NO PAIN, NO SCALPELS, NO SUTURES, NO SCARRING of palatal tissues as in other techniques.
Although a relatively new technique, Dr. Lehrman has been a Laser Surgeon for more than a decade and has pioneered many innovative approaches to patient care.
The main goal of this procedure is to increase the quality of your sleep, if you have a snoring problem bothering you or your sleep partner, or have been diagnosed as having sleep apnea or hypopnea via a sleep study.
How long does Nightlase take?
A course of treatment is generally composed of 3 treatment sessions with 3 weeks between them, and a follow-up visit one month later. Treatment visits are approximately 30 minutes. Results of treatment can last up to a year. When you or your sleeping partner notice the effects beginning to erode, i.e. the parapharyngeal tissues losing their tone, then have another treatment (usually one) to retighten the soft palate, uvula, and sides of the anterior throat area. No general or local anesthesia is used, only a spray topical anesthetic. We recommend a collagen booster treatment every 6 months to maintain your treatment.
Although you can still wear intra-oral appliances or use CPAP machines, this is an independent procedure, especially helpful for those who cannot, or will not, use CPAP or oral appliances. No appliances are part of this technique.
Benefits of Nightlase
- no anesthesia risk
- no downtime, you go about your normal day
- requires no device to be worn during sleep
- no painful surgery
- no needles
- no post-op pain (mild sore throat may be noticed in first 24 hours)
- no adverse results
- no scarring
- no drugs
- an alternative for people who cannot (or refuse to) use CPAP or oral appliances
How does Nightlase work?
The Fotona LightWalker Laser gently heats the soft palate, uvula, and anterior surrounding tissues in your throat which have been restricting your airway when you are lying down, and laser light stimulates the adjacent areas. The warming causes collagen remodeling, while laser light stimulation causes formation of “new youthful collagen” in those tissues, resulting in tightening of the treated tissues. Immediate visible shrinkage is observed via the laser effect upon the collagen fibers. It is the toning of the throat tissues around the pharynx which helps hold the airway open.
When the shrinkage and tightening occurs, snoring (vibration of the soft, floppy palate and throat tissues when air passes between the tongue and soft palate) is reduced or stopped. The airway is now more open for both nasal and mouth breathing, aiding both snorers and sleep apnea patients.
Factors Affecting Sleep Apnea & Snoring
- Hypotonia of the soft palate, uvula, sides of the throat and base of the tongue
- Deficient airway
- Swollen and/or inflamed tissues in the nose and throat area (such as swollen turbinate bones, deviated septum)
- Swollen tonsils and adenoids
- Excessive fat
- Malocclusion/mal-positioned jaw
- Relaxants such as alcohol and prescription drugs can let the tongue fall back into the throat area, worsening the situation.
Some side effects of snoring and sleep disordered breathing problems
- Sleep apnea reduces your longevity by about 12 years
- Heart attack
- Headaches, migraines
- Impotence, loss of libido
- Increased incidence of heart attack & stroke
- Daytime fatigue
- Acid reflux, GERD
- Weight gain
- Stress reactions
- Aggressive behavior
- Traffic, work, & at-home accidents
- Abnormal facial growth/development in children
Expected Nightlase treatment results
- Better health
- Longer life
- A better relationship with your sleeping partner
- Better quality of life