This document replaces previous guidance on radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate for snoring (NICE interventional procedure guidance 124).
1.1 Current evidence suggests that there are no major safety concerns associated with radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate for snoring. The evidence on the short-term efficacy of the procedure is adequate, although uncertainties remain about its efficacy in the longer term. Therefore this procedure may be used with normal arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit.
1.2 During the consent process clinicians should, in particular, inform patients of the uncertainty about the procedure's long-term efficacy and of the possible need for further procedures if symptoms recur.
1.3 Patient selection is important: the sound of snoring can arise from several different levels in the upper airway and this procedure should only be used for patients whose snoring has been shown to be caused by abnormal movement of the soft palate and in whom sleep apnoea has been excluded.
1.4 NICE encourages further research into radiofrequency ablation of the soft palate for snoring. This could take the form of data collection, with the specific aim of documenting long-term outcomes and the need for further treatment.