The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on soft-palate implants for obstructive sleep apnoea.


Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), or obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome, is characterised by repeated, reversible episodes of apnoea and hypopnoea during sleep, loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.

The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia. A hollow introducer needle containing the implant is used to pierce the soft palate, close to the junction with the hard palate, reaching into the muscle layer. The needle is then withdrawn, leaving the implant in position. Typically two or three implants are inserted in a single procedure, at the midline of the soft palate or parallel to it. The aim of the procedure is to stiffen the soft palate over subsequent weeks as a result of fibrosis.

Coding recommendations

F32.8 Other specified other operations on palate

Y02.1 Implantation of prosthesis into organ NOC