SLEEP APNEA/SNORE RELATED SURGERY
Snoring is not only bothersome to loved
ones, it can also be indicative of a serious medical problem,
the Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome of "Sleep Apnea".
While many people who snore do not have sleep apnea, their snoring
can be completely disruptive to the sleep of others, often requiring
loved ones to sleep in separate beds or even separate rooms.
For some people, however, snoring is one of the cardinal signs
of sleep apnea, the other hallmark sign being excessive daytime
sleepiness. Patients who are afflicted with this disorder are
unaware that they struggle to breathe while sleeping due to
significant obstruction of their airway. Causes of this obstruction
can include nasal obstruction due to a deviated nasal septum,
a long soft palate and uvula, a large tongue, and/or a recessive
chin and jaw.
Problems associated with sleep apnea can include excessive drowsiness
leading to poor concentration at tasks and an increased accident
rate, high blood pressure, heart disease, impotence, and personality
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
- Do you snore loudly?
- Are you told that you experience long breathing pauses when you sleep?
- Do you awaken gasping in the middle of the night?
- Do you experience headaches in the morning upon awakening?
- Do you fall asleep easily at inappropriate times such as at your desk, while driving, or at stop lights?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions,
you may have sleep apnea and should have your condition evaluated.
Uncomplicated snoring can be treated in a variety of ways, including a laser procedure performed on the soft palate and uvula called the laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty or "LAUP". This procedure, performed under a light monitored intravenous sedation in the office, vastly reduces or eliminates snoring in a single treatment in most patients, and allows the patient to resume completely normal activities the next day! This procedure can also be effective in treating some cases of sleep apnea in the appropriate patient.
Illustration ©1994 Luxar Corporation
Additional outpatient procedures that can be of
benefit in many instances of sleep apnea include nasal septoplasty
to straighten a deviated nasal septum and surgery to advance the
chin or jaw to an appropriate position when they are recessive.
These procedures serve to open the airway and reduce obstruction
to breathing at the level of the nose, the soft palate, and at
the base of the tongue.
After a thorough office evaluation, your condition can be determined
and recommendations can be made from among the various treatment
options regarding the proper course of treatment.