What is sleep apnea surgery?

Sleep apnea surgery aims to remove or reduce the tissue in the throat that collapses and blocks the airway during sleep or to reposition anatomical structures that cause obstruction. The decision to proceed with surgery is based on the patient’s anatomy, the severity of the sleep apnea, and their overall health.

Types of sleep apnea surgeries

Several surgical options are available, depending on the location and cause of the airway obstruction:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): This procedure involves removing excess tissue from the throat, including parts of the uvula, soft palate, and pharynx, to widen the airway.
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GA): GA targets the tongue’s base, pulling it forward to keep the airway open.
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA): A more complex procedure, MMA moves the jaw forward, enlarging the space behind the tongue and soft palate.
  • Hyoid Suspension: This technique secures the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage to help stabilize the airway.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): RFA reduces the size of the tongue or other tissues in the throat that may be causing obstruction.
  • Nasal surgery: Procedures such as septoplasty or turbinate reduction can improve airflow through the nose.
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Candidates for sleep apnea surgery

Not everyone with sleep apnea is a candidate for surgery. Ideal candidates are those who:

  • Have anatomical factors contributing to sleep apnea.
  • Are unable to tolerate or comply with CPAP therapy.
  • Have tried and failed to improve with conservative treatments.
  • Are in good overall health to undergo surgery.

Preparing for sleep apnea surgery

Preparation for sleep apnea surgery may include:

  • Detailed imaging studies to assess the airway anatomy.
  • Preoperative evaluations to ensure overall fitness for surgery.
  • Discussions about the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of surgery.

What to expect during and after sleep apnea surgery

During surgery, patients are under general anesthesia. Post-surgery, they can expect:

  • For some patients, a hospital stay is typically one night.
  • Postoperative pain is managed with medications.
  • A recovery period, often with dietary restrictions and activity limitations.
  • Follow-up visits for monitoring recovery and evaluating the success of the surgery.

What is the recovery?

Recovery times and outcomes vary based on the type of surgery performed. Patients may experience:

  • Sore throat and difficulty swallowing during the initial recovery.
  • Gradual improvement in sleep apnea symptoms as they recover.
  • Long-term follow-up to monitor for recurrence of symptoms and the need for additional treatment.

Postoperative recovery from sleep apnea surgery is a critical phase. Patients typically experience soreness and swelling, requiring rest and a modified diet of soft foods. Pain is managed with prescribed medications. Activities are limited, and strenuous exertion is discouraged to facilitate healing. Recovery duration varies, but patients often resume normal activities within a few weeks. Follow-up appointments are essential to monitor the healing process and assess the effectiveness of the surgery in reducing apnea episodes. Throughout recovery, patient comfort and the minimization of complications are the primary focus of the dedicated care team at Louisiana ENT.

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Why choose Louisiana ENT for sleep apnea surgery

Louisiana ENT is a leader in ENT care, bringing together a team of experienced surgeons and sleep specialists to provide comprehensive treatment for sleep apnea. Our approach is centered around each patient’s unique needs, ensuring personalized care from evaluation through to surgery and postoperative support.

We offer the full spectrum of sleep apnea surgical procedures, using the latest techniques and technology to optimize patient outcomes. With our extensive network of providers, Louisiana ENT patients benefit from the collective expertise of a team that collaborates to deliver the best possible care.

We understand that the decision to undergo surgery is significant. We are committed to educating our patients about all available options and supporting them throughout their journey to better sleep and improved health. Choosing Louisiana ENT means entrusting your care to a team that values excellence and is dedicated to enhancing your quality of life through effective sleep apnea management.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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