Surgery For Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Our approach, surgical but conservative.
Sleep apnea and snoring may often be treated by surgery alone. This offers a definitive solution without the need of long term use of CPAP machines or dental appliances. Surgical procedures for sleep apnea & snoring will depend on the type of sleep problem and its severity.
Because of the variance in surgical options, adequate diagnosis before any treatment is essential. Surgery for sleep apnea is most often minor but can be more important in severe cases. There may be only one intervention required but in many cases, a staged approach with 2 or 3 smaller procedures is recommended.
Palatal surgeries for sleep apnea & snoring
The soft palate and tonsils are associated to snoring and sleep apnea. Many treatments are available to treat sleep apnea caused by problematic palates, including coblation uvulopalatoplasty and palatal radiofrequency (somnoplasty)
These procedures can be done under local anesthesia and sedation, in one of our Dorma sleep clinics. Other procedures like pharyngoplasties and uvulopalatopharyngoplasties may be done under general anesthesia. No procedure is necessarily better than another. The Dorma sleep clinic will evaluate each patient in great detail and will be offer the adequate surgery for their situation.
For more information on palatal procedures for sleep apnea & sleep disorders, please consult the following links:
Nasal surgeries for sleep apnea & snoring
Nasal obstruction can interfere with nasal breathing while awake and during sleep. Nasal obstruction can therefore play a significant role in snoring and sleep apnea. Reducing nasal obstruction can improve symptoms related to snoring and sleep apnea and can also improve some patients’ tolerance to positive pressure therapy (CPAP). There are several treatment methods including the use of saline solution, topical corticosteroids and vaporizing antihistamines.
Decongestants and oral antihistamines can also be used to prevent sleep apnea and snoring. Nasal dilators, such as Breathe Right® are another type of non-surgical treatment that can provide relief to patients.
If the medical treatment is insufficient, surgical intervention can improve nasal airflow. This Surgical intervention to reduce sleep apnea can be combined with other medical treatments to provide more well rounded care.
Lingual Surgeries for sleep apnea & snoring
The area behind the tongue is a frequent zone of airway obstruction during sleep. This area is problematic in more than 60% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea and many of the patients affected by snoring alone.
While you are awake, the muscles of the throat and tongue are active and keep the airway open for breathing. These muscles loose their tonus during sleep allowing the tongue and other neighboring structures to fall back and obstruct airflow. Obstructed airflow is a cause of both sleep apnea & snoring and can be treated with lingual surgeries
Thorough clinical evaluation Dorma will determine if the lingual area is problematic and involved in the pathogenesis of sleep apnea or snoring. It is possible to determine in advance which patients will benefit the most from a lingual procedure through screening processes. Among the most commonly performed lingual procedures there are genioglossus muscle advancement, tongue radiofrequency and lingual tonsils removal
Maxillo-Mandibular Advancement for sleep apnea & snoring
Maxillo-facial surgery is recommended in more severe sleep apnea cases cases when CPAP therapy is not possible. Bringing both jaws forward will also bring the tongue and anterior pharyngeal wall forward thus increasing the airway and preventing collapse during sleep.
This group of procedures has a high success rate even in the most severe cases with a long long lasting benefits. Although it is considered a major procedure, most patients recover from it quite well within 2 to 3 weeks. Read more.
Tracheostomy for sleep apnea & snoring
Tracheostomy is the oldest surgical procedure used to treat sleep apnea or snoring. It was a popular solution in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This technique works very well. However, due to its side effects it is rarely used nowadays.
Patient’s with tracheostomies may experience serious complications such as tracheal stenosis, damage to the larynx and vocal cords, infections, airway obstruction due to secretions and more. Read more.