Your initial consultation will include an assessment by one of our doctors to determine the severity of your snoring and sleep apnoea. The assessment not only checks your physical wellbeing but will include questions regarding:
- How difficult you find it to wake?
- Are you fatigued during the day?
- Do you nod off to sleep during the day?
- Do you wake with a dry mouth or sore throat?
From your responses to these and your physical examination our doctors can determine whether you’re a candidate for the NightLase procedure.
What happens during the NighLase Treatment?
If your assessment determines that you are a suitable candidate, usually a course of three treatments are undertaken approximately two weeks apart.
During each 20 – 30 minute treatment the NightLase laser gently heats the tissue of the soft palate, causing tightening of the tissue which leads to a reduction of the volume of the patients snoring. The procedure is performed in two simple steps:
Step 1: PRECONDITIONING – The laser light preheats the tissue.
Step 2: TISSUE STRENGTHENING – Laser light strengthens the tissue.
During the treatment, there’s an immediate contraction and tightening of the collagen tissues causing obstruction at the back of the throat. The collagen tissues are made of strands of protein and when you heat protein, it tightens and contracts.
Immediately after one treatment, one feels a slight tightening of tissues and contraction at the back of the throat. Consequently, you’re able to breath deeper and it feels like the airway is more open at the back of the throat. There’s no known serious side effects of this treatment. Some patients have had a slightly dry or ‘scratchy’ throat for a day.
No after-care is required, as there should be no side effects. The process of new collagen formation concludes 6 to 7 months after each treatment. This is when the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnoea should be at the least.
Over time, these tissues begin to loosen sag and drop down again, causing the airway to narrow and vibrate. This is a natural part of ageing, so maintenance treatments will quickly reverse and improve any deterioration.
Depending on the severity of your condition you may require a maintenance treatment to prolong results every 6 months or yearly. This is case by case and will be discussed during your consultation. This treatment again consists of the same simple 18 to 20 minute session.