Oral Surgery to Treat Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans. It is a condition that affects your quality of sleep. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops for several seconds while you sleep. This causes your brain to wake up to restart your breathing. This happens several times during the course of the night. Every time you wake up and then go back to sleep, your body has to start its sleep cycles all over again. As a result, you are unable to get the restful sleep you need by the time your alarm goes off in the morning. Sleep apnea leaves you feeling exhausted. You may fall asleep during the day or feel very irritable. Sleep apnea can also lead to serious health complications. Treating sleep apnea is essential for restoring your sleep, and your quality of life. Sometimes, treatment may require surgery. Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center can help.
UUUP is the most common surgical procedure performed for sleep apnea. This term is short for uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. With this procedure, we remove excess tissue in your pharynx and your soft palate. Your tonsils are also removed as a part of this procedure if they are still present. The goal of a UUUP is to help keep the airway open and to prevent collapse. It also helps to put a stop to snoring, a common symptom of sleep apnea.
A tongue advancement is performed to move one of the main muscles in the tongue, the genioglossus muscle, forward. This is done to prevent the tongue from falling back into your throat and blocking your airway. During this procedure, a small cut is made in the tongue where the muscle is located. The bone is moved forward and a small titanium plate is used to secure the bone in place.
Many patients who suffer sleep apnea have an enlarged tongue. The tongue then falls back while you sleep and blocks your airway. In your neck, where the base of your tongue and your pharynx connect, there is a small bone called the hyoid. A hyoid advancement is a minimally invasive procedure that involves repositioning this bone. With this procedure, your airway can remain open and collapsing can be prevented.
Lower Jaw Advancement
A small, narrow jaw can reduce the size of your airway, resulting in sleep apnea. With a lower jaw advancement, the airway can be widened by moving the bones in the lower jaw forward and securing them with titanium plates. The jaw is typically wired shut during the recovery process. While this treatment is effective, it is not common.
Soft Palate Inserts
Soft palate inserts, or the Pillar Procedure, is a treatment that involves placing three rods in the soft palate. The rods trigger an inflammatory response that causes the soft palate to stiffen. This reduces the risk of the soft palate coming into contact with the pharynx, reducing the likelihood of sleep apnea.
Nasal surgery may be recommended to remove an obstruction from your nasal passageways. A septoplasty may be recommended to straighten the septum. A turbinate reduction may be recommended to reduce the size of the turbinates, or the areas in the nose that are responsible for cleaning and humidifying air before it goes to the lungs. You may also require removal and replacement of deviated cartilage in the nose to prevent valve collapse.
With a tracheostomy, a passageway is created directly in the trachea, allowing air to completely bypass the obstructions in your upper airway. This particular procedure is only recommended in severe cases.
If non-surgical treatments for sleep apnea are not cutting it, surgery may be able to provide you with the solution you need. Successful sleep apnea surgery can restore your sleep, and your overall quality of life. For more information, contact Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center at 925-290-7727 today.