The soft palate is the flap of tissue that hangs down in the back of the mouth. If it is too long or floppy, it can vibrate and cause snoring. The uvula is suspended from the center of the palate. An abnormally long or thick uvula can also contribute to snoring.
The most commonly performed surgery for treatment of snoring and OSA is the UvuloPalatoPharyngoPlasty (UPPP). This procedure removes the uvula, trims the redundant tissue of the soft palate and widens the air passage at the back of the throat. If enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids are present, they are also removed as part of the procedure.
Other procedures, such as an injection snoreplasty, radio frequency palate ablation and a pillar implant all work to stiffen the tissues of the palate. After each of these procedures, the tissue heals as scar tissue, and the palate becomes stiffer and vibrates less.