The first treatment options for obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA) are lifestyle changes, such as
losing weight or not drinking alcohol before bed, and
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). If these
do not work, or if an obvious tissue or bone problem is causing your sleep
apnea, surgery is an option.
Common surgeries for sleep apnea
include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which is removal of excess tissue
from the throat. Other common surgeries are tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, which are removal of the
tonsils and/or the adenoids.
You may consider the following
surgeries if a specific bone or tissue problem is causing your sleep
Nasal septoplasty. Nasal septoplasty repairs and
straightens the bone and tissues (septum) that separate the two passages in the
nose. You may have this surgery if a deformity in your nose affects your
Nasal polypectomy. Nasal polypectomy removes soft,
round growths (polyps) that can project into the nasal passages and block
Several procedures have been developed to correct bony
deformities of the mouth and throat that can cause sleep apnea. They
Adjustments in the jaw, facial structure, or
Removal of part of the tongue (glossectomy) along with
structures in the throat.
Jaw advancement (for life-threatening
situations only, when other treatments have failed).
A procedure has been developed to prevent the tongue from
collapsing into the airway. The surgery, called tongue suspension,
involves placing a small screw in the front of the jaw. Surgical thread is
looped through the base of the tongue and attached to the screw. The long-term
effectiveness of this procedure is not yet known.
In another surgery, a device is implanted in the upper chest. It senses the breathing pattern and mildly stimulates the nerves of the airway muscles. This helps keep the airway open.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
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