The FDA-approved Pillar Palatal Implant for I sleep apnea—the sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing intermittently—requires outpatient surgery, during which three pieces of polyester string are sewn into the soft palate. This procedure causes the tissue to stiffen, which reduces sleep apnea and snoring. The procedure is comparable to sinuplasty, in which microwaves directed at the back of the throat stiffen tissue. Either operation is simpler and less painful than the standard surgery to remove excess throat and soft palate tissue.
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