If you always find it difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep due to periodic disruptions in breathing, then perhaps you have sleep apnea. This disruption happens when the muscles in your throat relax, causing you to stop breathing. Consequently, you keep waking up throughout the night. If not treated, sleep apnea leads to high blood pressure, stress, metabolic issues, and many other health issues.
There are different ways of treating sleep apnea, depending on its severity. If you have mild sleep apnea, your doctor will recommend several lifestyle changes like losing weight, adopting new sleeping positions, and quitting smoking. In other instances, you may be advised to seek treatment for nasal allergies. But in more severe cases, sleep apnea surgery is the only effective option.
Usually, your doctor will try other nonsurgical treatment options for at least three months before considering surgery. However, sometimes it is the only option, especially for patients with severe jaw structure defects. This article looks at the different surgical options for treating sleep apnea.
Commonly referred to as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, this procedure involves removing tissues from the back of your mouth and throat to open up your airways. In some cases, even tonsils and adenoids are removed. The procedure is commonly used for treating patients with snoring problems. It is also a better choice for sleep apnea patients who can’t tolerate Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or oral appliances.
This type of surgery uses radiofrequency ablation to shrink tissues at the back of your mouth and throat to unwrap your tight airways. It is perfect for both mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea. Tissue shrinkage has been found to offer the same results as tissue removal, but it has fewer surgical risks.
Also known as maxillomandibular advancement, jaw repositioning is a complicated procedure that involves the enlargement of the space behind your tongue and soft palate by moving your jaw forward from the remaining face bones. The extra space created prevents obstruction of your airways.
This procedure involves the insertion of a stimulator to increase the hypoglossal nerve stimulation, which controls tongue movement. With increased stimulation, your tongue stays in a position that allows your airways to remain open.
Before going for sleep apnea surgery, talk to your doctor about the problem and ask them if they can recommend any nonsurgical options. If surgery is the only option, they will determine which procedure works best for you.