There are many surgical procedures available to treat sleep apnea. Although surgery has a place in the treatment of sleep apnea, it should like any major medical procedure be evaluated carefully in consultation with your physician.
Like all surgical procedures, those undertaken for the treatment of sleep apnea have intrinsic risks. Many surgical efforts to address sleep apnea have results that are somewhat unpredictable, especially over time.
You can think of surgery for sleep apnea in four categories:
- For the Nose:
- Surgeries for the nose focus on correcting deviated septum’s, widening the nasal passages, and removing growths or polyps.
- For the Mouth and Oral Cavity:
- Surgeries for the mouth and oral cavity focus on removing tonsils and adenoids, the soft palate (and uvula) or reducing the size of the back of the tongue.
- Mandibular – Maxillary Advancement:
- This surgical procedure moves sections of the upper and lower jaw forward to pull the tongue forward and open the airway space. This procedure tends to be highly effective but is only employed in severe cases of sleep patients when most other treatment options have failed.
- Other Surgeries
- Other surgical options include Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation and Hyoid Bone Suspension. These procedures are rarely performed and are only employed for certain types of sleep apnea.
Surgical options should be carefully assessed with your physician. Surgery has a role to play in treating sleep related illness. It should not however be viewed as inherently superior or more effective than other treatment modalities.