10th February 2010
After years being kept awake by her husband’s snoring, a woman is finally enjoying full nights of sleep after the condition was cured.
Before Douglas Buttery underwent surgery to stop his snoring wife Daphne rated the din as a “10 out of 10”.
“It was horrendous,” said Mrs Buttery, 63, from Weston-super-Mare. “I couldn’t get a wink’s sleep because the snoring was so loud and that made me tired and irritable through the day.”
Eventually the snoring got too much and five years ago the couple, who have been married for 40 years, were forced to sleep in separate rooms.
Mrs Buttery said: “We didn’t like sleeping apart but it seemed like we had no choice.”
“It didn’t really bother me because I’d be fast asleep,” said Mr Buttery, 65. “But then in the middle of the night I’d get a sharp elbow in the ribs from my wife because she couldn’t sleep, so separate rooms did look like our only option.”
Then the couple learned about a treatment, called the Pillar Procedure, which is carried out by the private practice Bristol Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Partnership at Spire Bristol Hospital.
During this procedure three implants are placed at the junction of the hard and soft palate which stiffens the structure of the palate and reduces the vibration which causes snoring.
The procedure is carried out in an outpatients’ room and takes no more than 20 minutes, meaning patients can go home the same day.
Although common in the USA there are surprisingly few consultants in the UK who perform the Pillar Procedure and the treatment is currently only available privately because NHS Trusts have gradually cut snoring treatments from their budgets.
“The difference was instant,” said Mrs Buttery, “and if I had to rate the loudness of the snoring now I’d put it at zero, which is wonderful.”
Following the success of the surgery Mr and Mrs Buttery are back sleeping in the same room and are even considering booking a cruise to celebrate their upcoming 40th wedding anniversary.
“We’d been on a cruise before, a few years ago, but because my snoring kept Daphne awake at night she’d be very tired in the day and we’d end up arguing,” said Mr Buttery.
Mrs Buttery added: “Now that Douglas’s snoring has been virtually cured I’d love to try the cruise again knowing that I won’t be constantly woken up.”
Paul Tierney, consultant ENT surgeon, said: “This procedure compares very favourably compared to more aggressive and invasive surgical procedures, such as uvulo palatoplasty.
“Around a third of all adults aged over 40 suffer from some snoring at varying levels and, although not everyone will get the same results as Mr and Mrs Buttery, nonetheless it is a very simple and cost-effective option for people who snore loudly – and of course their long-suffering partners.”
For more information contact the Bristol ENT Partnership on 0117 973 4111.