Sleep Apnea Surgical Options
Individuals who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea may have tried traditional methods of treatment over the years to decrease the symptoms of their disease. Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing essentially ceases during sleep due to a collapsed or blocked airway in sufferers. To allow the individual to breathe correctly and safely, there are a multitude of devices on the market with one of the most frequently prescribed being a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask. Unfortunately, these options are major life adjustments and only provide a temporary solution. They do not provide a cure for sleep apnea. Hence, there are individuals who might opt to seek sleep apnea surgery options to arrive at a more permanent resolution.
If you no longer wanted to be tied to a bulky CPAP machine while sleeping, invasive surgery, for many years, was the only available option. For sleep apnea occurring in children, the simple choice is to remove the tonsils, which is the main culprit in blocking airways in their fast growing bodies. For adults, there are a range of options including tissue removal, jaw repositioning and tracheostomy. All are invasive procedures that require long recovery times.
To assist in opening up the airway, a surgical operation can be performed to remove the offending tissue. The soft palate is trimmed back and reshaped during uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
In medical jargon, jaw repositioning is known as maxillomandibular advancement, and involves moving the upper (maxilla) and lower (mandibular) jaws forward. At the same time, the soft palate, tongue and other attached tissue are tightened. This surgical procedure requires an overnight hospital stay and oftentimes, the patient will need to have his or her jaw wired for several weeks.
With a tracheostomy, the surgeon will create a new airway passage by bypassing the obstruction. Although this sleep apnea treatment option is known to relieve sleep apnea symptoms, there is the potential for psychosocial issues as result of this procedure.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Today sleep apnea surgery does not have to be invasive due to an option offered by Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA). Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an obstructive sleep apnea treatment available as a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed in a physician’s office. Over the course of five to eight sessions, treatment involves small amounts of targeted energy directed to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat. Following the procedure, the treated area heals. The tissue is tightened and thus reduced in size. This sleep apnea treatment prevents the tongue from blocking the airway while one sleeps, reducing and virtually curing the disease. The benefit of this sleep apnea surgery option is that patients can drive themselves home, or back to work, right after the procedure. A sleep study is required for all patients looking to be evaluated and discover whether or not RFA is the correct sleep apnea treatment option.
Don’t worry that your only treatment option is invasive and extensive surgery. Contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation to learn more when it’s convenient for you.