Treatment for sleep apnea is diverse and ranges from medical treatment involving breathing devices, supplemental oxygen, and medication to natural cures that involve changing your lifestyle and giving up unhealthy habits.
However for those suffering from severe sleep apnea, surgery is sometimes the only option. Some surgical procedures are more invasive than others and include a stay in hospital while others can be performed while the patent is awake and under local anesthesia. The following surgical treatments are designed to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Tonsil and Adenoid Removal
Sleep apnea can be caused by the tonsils and adenoids blocking the airway. This can happen when the tonsils become swollen. Tonsils are the two round lumps in the back of the throat and Adenoids occur above the throat and behind the nose. The condition is more common in children as the adenoids are much larger in early childhood. Obstructive sleep apnea is now the most common reason children have this type of surgery.
Like any invasive surgery there can be complications including infection and severe bleeding. An anesthetic reaction can result from anesthesia. Also speech may be affected, however this is often temporary.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a surgery that removes tissue in the throat and can include the tonsils, uvula, soft palate, the adenoids and pharynx. The surgery is designed to increase the width of the airway at the throat’s opening and improve the movement and closure of the soft palate. Few randomized clinical trials have been conducted to verify the long-term effectiveness of the surgery. The surgery is invasive and typically requires a stay in hospital.
Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a surgery designed to eliminate or reduce snoring and is more commonly performed in adults. According to Dr. Yves-Victor Kamami, a surgeon who developed Uvulopalatoplasty, the treatment is also successful for treating obstructive sleep apnea. While its effectiveness at treating sleep apnea is debatable the surgery is not so invasive and can be performed while the patient is awake and under local anesthesia.
The surgery often requires at least three visits lasting approximately 30 minutes and involves removing parts or the entire uvula at the rear of the mouth using a laser. The surgery can cost between 2,000 to 3,000 dollars with the principle side effect being a severe sore throat.
For those suffering from severe sleep apnea a tracheostomy is sometimes required. A tracheostomy involves making an incision in the windpipe. A tube is then inserted through the hole so the person can breathe without the use of their nose or mouth. The surgery is often successful but should be used as a last resort for patients who do not respond well to other less invasive treatments.
Surgery will vary depending on the type of sleep apnea and any underlying health conditions a patient suffers from. Some surgical procedures are more intrusive than others and may not be necessary for the type of sleep apnea you’re suffering from. You should consult both a doctor and an ear, nose and throat specialist before considering any type of surgery.
This is a guest post by Simon at fithealthyliving.com – To discover some natural cures for sleep apnea and ways of improving your general health and well-being check out his health and fitness blog.