Surgeries for Treating Sleep Apnea.


Sleep apnea is usually a condition that is characterized by the cessation or reduction in the flow of air to the airways as one is sleeping. The cessation periods last for about ten or more seconds depending on the severity of the condition. Adults are the ones who are common to suffer this condition as opposed to children. There are two common types of this condition that are widespread among both children as well as adults. They are the obstructive sleep as well as central sleep apnea. Given that diagnosis of this condition is normally suspected basing on the history of the individual, there are a number of tests that a person can take to confirm the existence of the condition.

Treatment of sleep apnea can be both intrusive and non-intrusive. This means that there are some cases of this condition that require surgery as a mode of treatment while others just require non-surgical methods. Surgery can be performed to augment the size of the airway among other things such as removal of the tonsils, the adenoids and excess tissue found at the rear end of the gut or within the nasal cavity. Surgeons can also perform more intrusive surgeries like a jaw reconstruction surgery with the intention of enlarging the airway on the upper side.

There are a number of surgeries that can be performed to assist in treatment of the condition. They are as follows:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

This kind of surgery is the most common treatment for sleep apnea that is performed on adult sufferers. The surgery is performed with the intention of increasing the size of the airway through the removal of the excess tissue located in the throat. This type of surgery is not beneficial to most people since even after the surgery is performed, medications are still needed to treat some of the other symptoms that are associated with this condition.

Tonsillectomy

This surgery for sleep apnea is commonly used to treat children who suffer from such a problem. Tonsils, which are normally located at the rear end of the throat, are the primary cause of sleep apnea in children. Enlargement of the tonsils causes the blocking of the airways while the children are asleep. Tonsillectomy is normally done to remove such enlarged tonsils thus leaving the airway clear making breathing to become easy.

The Adenoidectomy

This is a surgery for sleep apnea that is widely used in the treatment of children just like the tonsillectomy. Adenoids are situated on either side of the gut behind the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity. Similar to tonsils, adenoids can enlarge and cause an obstruction of the airway. This surgery basically gets rid of the enlarged adenoids that cause the obstruction as the person is sleeping. The cost of the surgery depends on the patient and in most cases is covered by the patient’s medical insurance policy.

Tracheostomy

This is an intrusive surgery that is the last alternative treatment for very severe apnea. This surgery can also be performed on people who cannot undergo other treatment procedures. The surgery entails the creation of a hole in the windpipe and the insertion of a pipe into the throat to allow more air into the airways. Tracheotomy as a surgery has the highest rates of success despite the fact that it is compounded by many health problems after completion of the surgery.

The LAUP or Laser-Aided Uvulopalatoplasty

This surgery is most likely treats snoring that is caused by sleep apnea as opposed to treating apnea itself. Laser beams are utilized in the removal of the uvula in addition to a small portion constituting the soft part of the palate. This surgery treats the main sign of the sleep apnea condition, which is snoring. Sleep studies need to be carried out prior to making any engagements to go ahead with the surgery.

There are other surgeries that are not directly related to sleep apnea but they help in reducing or treating the condition. These surgeries are those that focus on the following:

Lower Jaw Rebuilding

Reconstruction of the lower jaw can be used in the treatment of sleep apnea since it increases the size of the airways thus unblocking any obstructions that are caused by a narrow jaw.

Nose Modification

Modification of the nose can be done with the aim of increasing the size of the nasal cavity thus making breathing to be smooth and uninterrupted.

Treatment of Obesity

Obesity is known to be the root cause of many things and hypertension is one of them. High blood pressure is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Treatment of the symptoms is considered to be one of the steps to carry out towards the treatment of sleep apnea.

Most of these surgeries are performed when the patient is under heavy anesthesia and is probably unconscious. The procedures are mainly painless while the surgery is being performed. Care should be taken after the completion of the surgery until the wounds are completely healed so as to avoid post surgery infections and other related complications. Most of these surgeries have a high success rate in treating symptoms associated with sleep apnea. However, they do not guarantee the treatment of the condition since there are some people who have had more complicated or severe sleep apnea than they had before going through the surgery. These surgeries are affordable to many people since some of them are rather quite simple to perform than others. The costs normally depend on the type of surgery and the level of sophistication that is required to be performed on each.

Nonsurgical Treatments

CPAP Breathing Machine
Custom Pillows
Formed Mouthpieces
Dental Appliances
Surgery is believed to be the most effective treatment plan for many people that can offer a relief that is permanent from all the symptoms they face. Nonetheless, these surgeries have risks that are associated with them such as surgical complications as well as infections. It is recommended that one seeks surgery as the last option for treating apnea and the decision should be made after proper and extensive consultation with a physician or a sleep specialist.