October 4, 2010

Sleep Apnea Surgery Options

So you have sleep apnea and want to have surgery. Before you settle on something like surgery, do your homework. Many surgeries do not accomplish what was wanted and once done, you will have to live with it.

After I was diagnosed, I was made aware of this, but discouraged by my sleep doctor until after I had tried other options and learned more about the different surgeries. I am happy that he had that attitude. After doing a lot of reading and research, I will put up with a nasal mask before I will do something that can't be reversed.

In my second year shortly after I was diagnosed with diabetes, a surgeon specializing in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) surgery was brought in to examine about a dozen of us. There was only one person that fit the criteria he was willing to do surgery for. I don't know what happened, but I am very thankful he felt I did not qualify for surgery.

From my knowledge now, I would try different CPAP equipment and if necessary all of the oral dental appliances until I had exhausted every other facet before I would consider surgery.

Now that I have said that, for those that cannot accept the continuous positive pressure (CPAP) for OSA or oral dental appliances, the following surgery options are available.

1. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
2. Tracheostomy
3. Other Surgical Options

I will not summarize these, but urge you to read about them here. It does discuss the complications involved especially UPPP.

More sites that will give you a better understanding of the successes and failures of surgeries for sleep apnea.

Site 1 This site does have information about surgeries for adults and children.
Site 2 Excellent coverage about treatments and drugs.
Site 3 Conversations with two individuals who regret having the surgery.
Site 4 From Sleep Apnea Organization.
Site 5 The U of Maryland an excellent discussion about the success rates and types of complications to expect.

I urge you to do your homework and research diligently before accepting surgical solutions.

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