Getting surgery for sleep apnea can provide serious relief for people who have been suffering with this condition for years. However, as with any surgery, it is extremely important that you know exactly what you are getting into. Start your research process by learning about your sleep apnea surgery options here.
There are actually quite a few different kinds of surgery that can be used for sleep apnea. That’s because there are a lot of different possible causes for the blockage that is causing your sleep apnea. So the surgery that works best for you will depend on where the blockage is happening. Let’s take a very quick look at some of the surgery options you have:
This is the most common surgery for sleep apnea. UPPP stands for “Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty” so you’re probably going to want to just stick with calling it UPPP. In this procedure, they remove soft tissue at the back of your palate to widen the airway and make it more difficult for the palate to collapse and block the airway.
In this surgery, doctors use a laser to cut, scar and harden the soft tissue on your palate. Your uvula is also trimmed down in the process. It has fewer side effects and is much less painful than the other surgery options. However, it is also less effective. So it is usually not the first one doctors will recommend.
This surgery is usually only done for those who have an enlarged tongue. The procedure involves removing tissue to resize the tongue so that it no longer obstructs your throat while you are sleeping.
If you have an unusually small lower jaw or a significant overbite causing your sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend jaw surgery to correct the problem. With this surgery, they will correct any structural problems to prevent your jaw from obstructing your throat.
Similar to the UPPP surgery, this procedure involves removing soft tissue from your throat to help widen the airway and prevent the possibility of the airway collapsing shut while you sleep.
The surgery that is best for you will depend on where the obstruction or blockage is happening. Most likely, your doctor will need to do a monitored sleep study to find out exactly what is causing the obstruction while you sleep. From there, they can make a better assessment of which surgery would benefit you.
If they don’t bring up the sleep study on their own during the consultation, you should definitely request one.
Take the following steps to prepare for your appointment with your doctor:
Following this process will ensure that you make the best use of the limited time you have with your doctor. And it will also make sure that you remember all of the information that your doctor gives you.
Before you make your final decision about getting surgery, you need to keep some important information in mind and be realistic about this decision. Here are the most important things to consider:
We don’t want to scare you away from surgery entirely. We just want to make sure that you treat it as an absolute last resort. That is what it should be. And that is what your doctor should tell you as well. If they tell you any different, get a second opinion.
Surgery is an invasive procedure and comes with risks. While sleep apnea surgeries are not among the especially risky surgeries, they do still carry risk. So you really need to treat them as a last resort. But once you’ve tried all of your other possible options and done thorough research about your surgery options, you will be able to make the right decision for you!