Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea? Know the Surgery Options at Your Disposal

Surgery is the red flower that blooms among the leaves and thorns that are the rest of medicine. - Dr. Richard Selzer

For mild sleep apnea an outpatient surgery could be performed. The aim of these surgery is to remove the blockages by the tissues.

Tonsils and the adenoids could be removed to remove the blockages. Some of the surgeries that are performed to treat sleep apnea are given below:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP):
Uvula is the piece of flesh at the back of the throat.
Pharyngoplasty is the platic surgery of the pharynx. Palato refers to the palate. So now you would know what is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Yes.

This surgery is used to remove the flesh at the back of the throat. With this surgery you can reduce snoring. The tissues found deeper are not removed hence snoring is only controlled with this surgery and not apnea.

Patients with mild apnea can undergo this surgery. If laser is used in this surgery it is called Laser Assisted UvuloPlasty (LAUP).

Mandibular maxillar advancement surgery: Mandibular refers to the lower jaw and Maxillar refers to the upper jaw. So what does this surgery do? The abnormalities in the lower jaw and the upper jaw are corrected with this surgery.

The jaws are moved forward so that space is created between the tongue and the soft palate. This increases the airway and make you breathe freely. Patients with severe apnea and craniofacial abnormalities can go for this type of surgery.

Genioglossus Advancement surgery: In this surgey the lower jaw is moved forward so that the tongue is moved to avoid blockage in the airway.

Hyoid Suspension surgery: In this the hyoid bone is pulled in front of the larynx. The hyoid bone is in the neck where the tongue muscles are attached.

Somnoplasty: this type of surgery is the most recent type that is used in the treatment of sleep apnea. In this method a special electrode in the form of a needle is used to pierce the tongue, throat, and soft palate and using a radio frequency generator they are heated to temperatures between 158 to 176 degrees. This is done for 30 minutes.

At this temperature they shrink to give more space in the airways. This type of surgery is also known as Radio Frequency Volumetric Tissue reduction of the palate.

Snoreplasty: this result of this method eliminates snoring. In this method a topical anaesthesia is given using an injection at the back of the throat and palate. This makes it numb and stiff thus stopping the fluttering of the palate. This reduces the noise due to snoring.

Turbinectomy: Bones and soft tissues are removed to open up the nasal passage. This surgery can be done if the passage is blocked. The blockage could have been due to chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, swelling of adenoids and tonsils, nasal septum, chronic inflammation or tumor in the nose.

Pillar procedure: Patients having mild to moderate sleep apnea can be benefited with this method. In this method inserts are injected to support the tissue at the back of the throat in the soft palate.

Tracheostomy: people suffering from severe and persistent sleep apnea can make use of this procedure. This is the oldest method. In this method a tube is inserted in the neck with a small incision.

It also has a valve that can be opened or closed. During day time the valve is closed and during night it is opened to allow free flow of air so that the blocked passage is bypassed.

The above forms of surgeries can be used for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Support devices are available to both Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea.


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