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Sleep Apnea and Surgery

Written by Olivia Cerf, sshowalter.

Effect of Surgery on Sleep Apnea

If problems are identified that may be contributing to sleep apnea, and if the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment fails, it may be beneficial to have surgery. These may include:

  • Tonsillectomy (for enlarged tonsils)
  • Removal of nasal polyps
  • Surgery to straighten a deviated septum
  • Correction of facial or jaw deformities
  • Removal of tissue in the throat (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty)

There are specialized procedures that are used to treat problems that may be contributing to sleep apnea. Each has variable success rates, with the potential for surgical complications.

Because sleep apnea is caused by being overweight or obese, bariatric surgery may also be worth considering if other weight loss approaches have failed.

Read more details about Surgery.

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Effect of Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) on Sleep Apnea

This surgery is not a cure for sleep apnea. Studies have shown that overall number of nighttime incidents went down, but are not eliminated. However, most patients report an improvements in the...

Read more about Sleep Apnea and Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).

Effect of Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) on Sleep Apnea

Although this procedure seems to help improve snoring, it’s not clear whether it also has an effect on sleep apnea. This procedure uses laser techniques to remove tissue from the back of the throat.

Read more about Sleep Apnea and Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP).

Effect of Radiofrequency Ablation on Sleep Apnea

This is a surgery for sleep apnea. An electrode that emits radio waves and heat is used to destroy excess tissue at the base of the tongue. This device is applied to the palate and the base of...

Read more about Sleep Apnea and Radiofrequency Ablation.

Effect of Tracheostomy on Sleep Apnea

This procedure is very rarely performed and reserved for extremely severe cases of sleep apnea. It involves creating a hole (stoma) at the base of the neck and into the trachea (windpipe). A tube in...

Read more about Sleep Apnea and Tracheostomy.

Effect of Nasal Surgery on Sleep Apnea

Nasal surgery to remove an obstruction can serve as another way to relieve sleep apnea.

Read more about Sleep Apnea and Nasal Surgery.

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