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Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea: Surgical Option

If you’ve been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), you’re familiar with the CPAP machine, which is widely considered to be the first line of defense for OSA.  However, for many, CPAP is awkward, uncomfortable and even claustrophobic.

A common indication of OSA is loud snoring. However, most people don’t know that you can still have sleep apnea without snoring.   And that can lead to serious health issues.

Our Recommended Solution to OSA is Surgery

If you want to avoid an uncomfortable CPAP, a TMJ problem causing oral appliance, and more importantly prevent the severe and life-threatening effects of OSA our surgical option is key for you. The benefits of our surgical options include:

Permanence: Patients with slight and even severe sleep apnea, surgery can be a permanent solution. Although it’s always a possibility that OSA may return, the surgical option is geared at delivering a long-lasting anatomical fix to the issue causing your OSA.

Effectiveness: Even if the surgical option doesn’t completely resolve your OSA, it can still be very effective in reducing the severity of your OSA. In fact, it’s not unusual for surgery to result in a 50% drop in the Apnea-Hyopnea Index (AHI), the measure used to indicate the severity of OSA.  For example, if your AHI pre-surgery level is at 40 (severe apnea) and then drops to 9 (mild apnea) post-surgery, that’s a significant improvement.

Convenience: If surgery does reduce the level of your OSA, you’ll no longer have to deal with the inconvenience of a CPAP or MAD if you have been using them for treatment.  A surgical solution means no more devices at home or when you travel.

Peace-of-mind: Most of all, a surgical solution, when successful, will let you literally and figuratively breathe easier, knowing that the risk of serious side effects of OSA has been significantly diminished.  It means better sleep, increased energy – and a reduced risk of cardiac problems associated with OSA.

Surgical Options for OSA

There are three surgical options that are typically the most effective when treating OSA

Genioglossus Advancement:

Genioglossus Advancement prevents upper airway blockage by preventing the tongue to collapse toward the back of the throat during sleep. The genioglossus is the primary muscle of the tongue and is attached to a small bony projection on the interior of the lower jaw. During this surgery, this small bone projection is moved forward and the tongue attachment is repositioned anteriorly so that it is less likely to collapse posteriorly and block the airway during sleep.

Hyoid Advancement:

The hyoid bone is a small bone under your chin, which is advanced to treat tongue-based obstructions by expanding the airway. This surgery is often done in combination with a Genioglossus Advancement, as it has been shown that this combined approach increases the overall success of the treatment of sleep apnea.

Maxillomandibular Advancement:

Maxillomandibular Advancement is the most effective and reliable treatment for patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea. This sleep apnea surgery involves moving the upper and lower jaws forward, thereby enlarging the entire airway. The treatment procedure is performed on patients with moderate to severe OSA as the only treatment, or when other procedures have failed.  It is also sometimes combined with a chin advancement to maximize the enlargement of the airway space.

For more information on sleep apnea treatment, we welcome you to call or visit our practice today. We are committed to helping you improve your health!