We’ve said it before: snoring drives people so crazy they’re prepared to operate on themselves. At least this time the person performing the surgery is an actual surgeon and there is at least some method here and not just madness.

Tongue-Based Problem

Woman covering her ears due to her husband snoringChinese surgeon Dr. Zhang Xiangmin decided he needed to have surgery for his snoring because his wife was having difficulty sleeping. He knew that the problem was his tongue, which sagged during sleep to constrict his airway, which caused the vibrations of snoring.

He had developed his own solution to this problem: run tubes through his tongue that could be used to anchor the tongue. When he goes to sleep, he hooks what looks literally like anchors onto the tubes, then places these anchors on the outside of his mouth, where they keep his tongue from collapsing his airway.

Since no one else understood the principles of his experimental design, Dr. Xiangmin decided to perform the operation on himself. He poked holes through his own tongue, and with the help of an assistant, threaded tubes through the holes.

But Does It Work?

This is the most important question of all, and the one we have very little information to go on. Dr. Xiangmin spoke to a press conference three months after the surgery, declaring the success of the operation, but, as far as we know, he offered little data to support his conclusions. We don’t have figures for his oxygen saturation before the surgery and after, or the sound volume before the surgery and after. We have just the surgeon’s word and the report of his wife that his snoring has diminished.

Nonsurgical Snoring Solution

Whether this newly pioneered technique is ultimately successful or not, it’s probably unnecessary. There are many potential snoring solutions that don’t require surgery, but can help people who have snoring caused by the sagging of their tongue into their airway. Oral appliance therapy can help people with tongue-related snoring. Many appliances are designed specifically to combat a sagging tongue, and can be very effective.

If you would like to learn more about your snoring treatment options, please call  for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.