Sleep Apnea Surgery

Surgery is usually considered the last treatment option and should most certainly be when considering it for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Most of the surgeries listed below are less successful in treating apnea then they are in controlling snoring. They are most successful in patients that have very mild OSA despite the severity of their snoring.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.   This procedure is best indicated in patients that have large tonsils and a long soft palate.  The surgeon performs the surgery under general anesthesia in an ambulatory setting.  The tonsils are excised and the soft palate shortened.  The result of the surgery is to create more space behind the tongue and oral pharynx.  The post-operative discomfort is extreme lasting around 10 days.

Radiofrequency Uvuopalatoplasty.  This is similar to the UPPP except that it does not involve the tonsils.  The surgeon uses an electrical probe to create tunnels into the soft palate.  As the scaring within the tunnels form, the palate shortens and stiffens.  This procedure is done when the patient does not have large tonsils and the apnea is mild.  The post-operative pain is severe but less than the UPPP

Pillar Procedure.   This procedure is not indicated for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  It is designed to help snorers that do not stop breathing.  The surgeon places strips of non-reactive implant material into the soft palate.  Since there is limited tissue injury, less soft palate retraction develops.  The goals is to stiffen the palate, thereby reducing snoring.  Post operatively, there is much less pain experienced

Inspire Implant Device

This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing an electrode in the neck  around the nerve of the tongue.  You sleep with stimulating device that provides mucular contraction during the night.  This reduces the chance of the tongue fall back and obstruction the airway.  Results suggests approximate 75% reduction in obstruction and snoring.

Airlift Tongue Suspension Procedure

This procedure sequres the tongue by passing sutures through the base of the tongue and suspends it to the bottom of the jaw.  It can be quite sucessfull as well.