This section describes safety outcomes from the published literature that the Committee considered as part of the evidence about this procedure. For more detailed information on the evidence, see the interventional procedure overview.
5.1 Bleeding was reported in 2 patients in a case series of 218 patients. One patient developed a submucosal haematoma of the soft palate (timing unclear) associated with haemorrhage that needed haemostasis (no further details). Another patient had bleeding after their third radiofrequency ablation treatment (19 days after the procedure), which was treated by bipolar coagulation.
5.2 Airway oedema (timing unclear) needing treatment with corticosteroids was reported in 5% (2/40) of patients after radiofrequency ablation in a non-randomised comparative study of 70 patients comparing radiofrequency ablation against injection snoreplasty.
5.3 Swelling of the uvula (1 day after the procedure) needing hospital admission (no further details) was reported in 1 patient in the case series of 218 patients.
5.4 Mild to moderate mucosal erosion (timing unclear) was reported in 48% (10/23) of patients in a case series of 23 patients.
5.5 Infection of the soft palate was reported in 6 patients after the procedure in the case series of 218 patients (timing unclear; treated by oral antibiotics). One patient went on to develop a peritonsillar abscess that needed surgical drainage.
5.6 Ulceration at the site of radiofrequency ablation probe insertion was reported in 5 patients in the case series of 29 patients. All ulcers healed within 'a couple of weeks'.
5.7 The specialist advisers listed perforation of palate and palatal fistula as anecdotal adverse events. They also said that a theoretical adverse event was regurgitation due to palatal insufficiency.