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Surgery for Snoring & Obstructive sleep apnea

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Read more about snoring and OSA here: https://www.raosentcare.com/snoring-obstructive-sleep-apnoea-3/

What are the different surgical options to improve snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea?

The surgeon will first examine and investigate to identify the sites of airflow obstruction. Then as per the diagnosis, he may decide to undertake single or multiple procedures in one stage or in multiple stages to minimize these obstructions and bring relief from snoring and sleep apnoea.

Surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea include:

  • Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction: The septum is a bony partition that divides the nose into two nostrils. A bent septum can block the air passage and cause airflow obstructions. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure for straightening the bent septum and clearing the airway. Turbinates are curved bones along the walls of the nasal passage. Enlarged turbinates can also block the airflow and worsen the sleep apnoea. Reducing their size makes the airway bigger and brings relief.

Read more about septoplasty and turbinate reduction here: https://www.raosentcare.com/septoplasty-and-turbinate-surgery/

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): In this surgery, the soft palate (at the back of the roof of your mouth) is trimmed or adjusted forward. In addition, your tonsils and uvula may also be removed. While this is a common surgical treatment for sleep apnoea, its effectiveness varies from patient to patient, depending on the size of the tonsils, palate, jaw, and tongue.
  • Midline Glossectomy and Base of Tongue Reduction: These two procedures enlarge the airway by removing a section of the back half of the tongue. Latest surgical techniques such as radiofrequency energy and coblation are making these surgeries more common and easier as well.
  • Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR): In this, energy waves, like those in a microwave oven, are used to reduce the soft palate and tongue base. This technique is more suitable for snoring rather than sleep apnoea.

In severe cases, the surgeon can opt for more aggressive procedures as detailed below:

  • Hyoid Suspension: If the airway is getting blocked at the base of your tongue, the surgeon can seek to connect your hyoid bone (a U-shaped bone in the front of your neck that supports the tongue) to the bony projection in the front part of the throat known as “Adam’s apple” or suspend it from your jaw to keep the airway open and check sleep apnoea.
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GGA): GGA is a specialized procedure to open the airway in order to treat sleep apnoea. The surgeon tightens a tendon in the front section of the tongue so that it can’t slide back and close off the breathing passage. In most cases, GGA is combined with UPPP or hyoid suspension.
  • Maxillomandibular Osteotomy (MMO) and maxillomandibular advancement (MMA): These surgeries are probably the best treatments for severe sleep apnoea. In it, the airway is enlarged by making cuts into the jawbones to pull the jaws forward. However, these are complex surgeries that require overnight hospital stay. Plus, the surgeon may choose to shut your jaw using wires for a few weeks to ensure optimal healing.


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