Sleep Apnea Surgery

Sleep apnea surgery may not appeal to all sufferers of sleep apnea and may not be suitable or even an option.

There Are Many Different Sleep Apnea Surgery Procedures

There are many different types of surgery for sleep apnea and snoring. But you will be told that CPAP is the first treatment option for anyone who has sleep apnea.

Oral appliance therapy also is an alternative treatment option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Your sleep specialist will help you decide if sleep apnea surgery is right for you. 

Sleep apnea surgery may be a multi-step process involving more than one procedure. You may need to continue using CPAP even when surgery successfully reduces the severity of sleep apnea.

It is important to keep follow up appointments with your sleep specialist after surgery.

Is sleep apnea surgery right for you?

You must be 100% certain that the surgery is right for you and the symptoms you experience. Ensure that your sleep specialist has explained the procedure to you, the recovery process and any possible side affects from the procedure.

I had sleep apnea surgery many years ago, a Uvulectomy to remove my Uvula by laser, which was done under a general anesthetic.  You can read about my surgery and the mistakes I made. Please don't go into surgery lightly as I did.

sleep apnea surgery

Surgical options include:

1. Adenoidectomy
2. Genioglossus Advancement
3. Hyoid Suspension
4. Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
5. Maxillomandibular Osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA)
6. Midline Glossectomy and Lingualplasty
7. Palatal implants
8. Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR)
9. Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction
10. Tonsillectomy
11. Tracheostomy
12. Uvulectomy
13. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
14. Weight loss bariatric surgery

1. Adenoidectomy 
The adenoids are small lumps of tissue at the back of the throat above the tonsils, behind the nasal passage. The adenoids are removed if they are enlarged and are blocking the airway during sleep.

2. Genioglossus Advancement
During sleep the tongue can fall back to block the space for breathing in your throat. This surgery moves the major tongue attachment forward, opening up space for breathing behind the tongue.

It involves making a cut in the lower jaw where the tongue attaches. This piece of bone (but not the entire jaw) is then moved forward.

3. Hyoid Suspension
This surgery enlarges the space for breathing in the lower part of the throat. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck. The tongue and other structures of the throat like the epiglottis are attached to it. 

Hyoid suspension involves pulling the hyoid bone forward and securing it in place.  

4. Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
The surgeon makes cuts using a laser to scar and tighten the soft palate. The uvula is trimmed over a period of several visits using local anesthetic.

It is less painful and has fewer side effects than UPPP. But it is also less effective.

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is sometimes used to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, although not all people benefit. 

5. Maxillomandibular Osteotomy (MMO) and advancement (MMA)
This type of surgery is a treatment option for severe sleep apnea. It moves your upper and/or lower jaw forward to enlarge the space for breathing in the entire throat.

The procedures involve cutting the bone of your jaws, which then heals over the course of months.

Your jaws may be wired shut for a few days. Your diet also will be limited for several weeks after the procedure.

6. Midline Glossectomy and Lingualplasty
These two surgeries involve removing part of the back of your tongue. Making the tongue smaller can prevent airway blockage in some people with sleep apnea. These procedures are uncommon.

7. Palatal implants
Palatal implants may be effective in some people with snoring or mild sleep apnea.  Small, fiber rods are inserted into the soft palate to stiffen the tissue and prevent airway blockage.

8. Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction (RFVTR)
Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

It uses controlled cauterisation to shrink and tighten the tissues in and around the throat.  It can be applied to the soft palate, tonsils and tongue.

9. Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction
These surgical options open your nasal passage to improve the flow of air.

Septoplasty straightens a bent or deviated nasal septum. This is the divider that separates the two sides of the nose.

Turbinate reduction reduces or removes the curved structures that stick out from the side of the nose.

They can be enlarged for a number of reasons, including allergies. Medications also can help reduce the size of turbinates.

10. Tonsillectomy
If the tonsils are enlarged and blocking your airway when you sleep, it may be necessary to remove the tonsils.

11. Tracheostomy
A Tracheostomy where a tube is inserted directly into your neck to allow you to breathe freely, even if the airways in your upper throat are blocked.

This surgery is an effective treatment for sleep apnea. But it is a drastic option that is used in rare, emergency situations.

Other treatment options are preferable for almost all patients with sleep apnea. It involves placing a hollow breathing tube directly into your windpipe in the lower portion of the neck.

This tube can be plugged during the day, allowing you to breathe and speak normally through your nose and mouth.

At night the tube is opened to allow you to breathe without any blockage in your throat. 

12. Uvulectomy
Uvulectomy is a surgical procedure performed to reduce or eliminate snoring and sleep apnea. The surgery involves removing all or part of the uvula, reducing vibration and snoring and also widen the airway.

The surgery is performed under general anesthetic and by laser to remove the uvula.

13. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
This procedure, and other types of soft palate surgery, targets the back of the roof of your mouth.

It involves removing and re-positioning excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. The surgeon can trim down your soft palate and uvula, remove your tonsils, and re-position some of the muscles of the soft palate.

UPPP and other soft palate procedures are the most common type of surgery for sleep apnea. But UPPP alone is unlikely to cure moderate to severe sleep apnea.

It may be combined with surgeries that target other sites in the upper airway.  

14. Weight loss surgery
Bariatric surgery can promote weight loss and may improve sleep apnea in people who are obese. But weight loss surgery usually is recommended because of other health risks related to obesity.

Prior to weight loss surgery you may be referred to a sleep physician for an evaluation and sleep study. There are many types of weight loss surgery.

Some procedures reduce the size of the stomach, making it harder to eat as much food. Each surgery has different risks and benefits.

People who are obese should work with their doctor to implement other weight loss strategies before considering surgery.

It is recommended to use a CPAP machine before and after weight loss surgery.

Research any intended sleep apnea surgery

Sleep apnea surgery should not be decided upon lightly and it is recommended that you thoroughly research any procedure before committing to it. Surgery can lead to further complications.

Wishing you vibrant health!

More related pages:

Sleep Apnea Causes 
Diagnosing Sleep Apnea 
Sleep Apnea Devices 
Sleep Apnea Side Effects
Sleep Apnea Symptoms 
Sleep Apnea Study 
Sleep Apnea in Children 
Sleep Apnea Statistics 
Sleep Apnea Surgery 
Sleep Apnea Weight 
Sleep Apnea Diet
Sleep Apnea Cures
Sleep Apnea Pillow 
Stages of Sleep 
Sleep Apnea 

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