Do you need Sleep Apnea Surgery?

April 29, 2017 |  by  |  Sleep Apnea Treatment

Surgery for sleep apnea is not usually done unless all other methods for treatment have not worked. Although in some cases sleep apnea surgery is performed to treat with and deal with the underlying causes of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can range from mild to severe. Sleep apnea is when the breathing stops during sleep. Depending on the level of severity of the sleep apnea will often determine the type of treatment that is needed.

Sleep apnea is caused by many different things. In order to decide if sleep apnea surgery is wise for you, you will need to determine the underlying cause of your sleep apnea. Children for example usually get sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils. In this case sleep apnea surgery would be an ideal solution. As once the tonsils are removed the sleep apnea will no longer be present. This is not always the case with adults. While some people are genetically predispositioned to develop sleep apnea based on gender, age, race or a family history of sleep apnea, many other people have risk factors that can be controlled. Sleep apnea has been linked with obesity, type II diabetes, cigarettes smoking and certain other medical conditions.

The first line of defense in terms of treatment for sleep apnea is often the use of CPAP machines. There are some cases where sleep apnea surgery is the first line of treatment. There are different types of sleep apnea surgery options. Let’s take a look at the different types of sleep apnea surgeries that are performed.

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Sleep apnea and Surgery: When do you need surgery?

Your doctor will use one of the sleep apnea surgery options only if they feel that surgery will cure the sleep apnea. People who have mild sleep apnea often do not need any form of treatment and sleep apnea surgery is not needed for those people. People who have moderate to severe sleep apnea can benefit from sleep apnea surgery in certain situations. The following is a list of different sleep apnea surgery options. Always speak with your doctor to learn if you are a candidate for sleep apnea surgery.

  • A surgical procedure that removes excess tissue in the throat is one type of sleep apnea surgery. In this surgery the excess tissues are removed and this makes the airway wider. This procedure is known as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and is the most common type of sleep apnea surgery.
  • Tonsillectomy removes the tonsils and is a very common sleep apnea surgery in children. In fact, this is often the first line of treatment for children as most children will not tolerate wearing the CPAP mask. This sleep apnea surgery success rate is very high.
  • Another procedure that can be done is known as a Tracheostomy. This is a surgical procedure in which a tube is placed through a surgical incision that is placed near the windpipe. This sleep apnea surgery is rarely used today.
  • Surgical procedures can be performed to repair any bone and tissue problems that are in the mouth and throat areas. This will be varied based on each person’s needs.
  • Bariatric surgery can be considered a sleep apnea surgery. Bariatric surgery is done for weight loss purposes. Generally performed on people who are obese. Since many overweight people do suffer from sleep apnea this surgey can help to improve sleep apnea.

Having surgery for sleep apnea is a personal choice and one that should not be entered into lightly. Spend time talking with your healthcare provider to ensure that sleep apnea surgery is the right choice for you.

Many people will be able to benefit from CPAP therapy and will not need to undergo surgery. However each person is different and sleep apnea surgery can be a viable and effective form of treatment for many. The sleep apnea surgery success rates will depend on the type of surgery that one has had. If one is have sleep apnea surgery to eliminate the underlying cause of sleep apnea such as enlarged tonsils then the surgery success rate is often very high.

As with any type of surgery there are complications that one should be aware of. While most of these surgeries are done on a routine basis and are considered to be safe there is always that chance that a complication could arise. Talk with your doctor to understand the risks that can come with sleep apnea surgery.


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