The Last Resort: Sleep Apnea Surgery

For those who are looking for a sleep apnea cure, sleep apnea surgery is the last resort unless the condition is life threatening. There are other treatment methods to try before resorting to sleep apnea surgery. Some of the treatment methods are lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, drinking and overeating. Others are through the use of a machine such as the CPAP machine, which keeps a constant flow of air to the person throughout the night. There are also devices that can be obtained from the dentist to help and reposition the jaw so that the tongue and other tissues are not as likely to block the airway. There are even pillows that are especially made to be used by sleep apnea sufferers, which help to keep the head in place during the night, or will help to keep the person from sleeping on his back.

Procedures Of Sleep Apnea Surgery

Once these other treatment methods have been tried, or if the sleep apnea is dangerous to the person’s life, then the sleep apnea surgical treatments can be decided upon. For adults, one option in sleep apnea surgery is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, in which the excess tissues of the throat are removed to help the airway to be wider. Another sleep apnea surgery that is commonly used in both adults and children is a tonsillectomy. Often it is enlarged tonsils that are the cause of the sleep apnea and by removing them the sleep apnea is cured. Sometimes the tonsillectomy is joined with an adenoidectomy since the adenoids are also enlarged in the patient.

There are also some sleep apnea surgeries that help to repair any issues that a person might have with the bones or tissues in the mouth and throat. One of these is called the nasal septoplasty, which is used if the person has a deformity of the nose. There is also the nasal polypectomy which removes some growths in the nose that can block breathing. If none of these sleep apnea surgeries are successful, then a more extreme surgery is used. A tracheostomy is usually one of the last resorts in the surgical procedures for sleep apnea. In this procedure, the surgeons cut a hole in the windpipe through which the air can flow. There is a tube that is placed in the hole for the person to breathe through. One reason that the tracheostomy is not used is because it can lead to other health problems for the patient in the future.