Is Surgery for Sleep Apnea the Answer?

ent doctorA lack of sleep is never considered a good thing. You might wake up feeling irritable, exhausted, and unmotivated. If sleep is continuously being disrupted with snoring or sleep apnea, it then becomes a serious health risk too. It is difficult for anyone to be fully functional with limited sleep on a daily basis. An ear, nose, and throat doctor or specialist should be considered if these nighttime burdens become recurring and start affecting daily life.

If you are hesitant about going to a specialist, keep in mind that people who have untreated sleep apnea face a risk of stroke that is four times more likely than those not afflicted, and are three times more likely to have heart disease. It is something to be taken very seriously. After it's determined whether or not an ENT doctor is needed, it will be time to look at all the available options for a better night's rest.

Experts typically suggest that you try continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) before considering surgery. Many CPAP users have complained about the machine putting too much pressure on their face or making it even more difficult to sleep because of discomfort wearing the machine. It may take some getting used to, but the benefits are undeniable. Ask your ear nose and throat doctor about taking part in a sleep study in order to fully document what the CPAP machine is doing for you while you sleep. The Sleep Apnea guide online shares the many benefits of the CPAP machine, including decreased daytime fatigue, better overall cognitive function including memory, more time spent in deep sleep, and reduced depression symptoms.

If you cannot make the CPAP routine happen or are unable to sleep because of the machine itself, then surgery for sleep apnea might be the best option. While there are many surgical options, the ENT doctor will recommend a surgery that is specifically tailored to the area of obstruction in each particular patient.

For the past 25 years, the most popular surgery for sleep apnea, according to sleepapneaorg.com, is UPPP, or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This procedure was developed to remove excess tissue from the soft palate and pharynx. UPPP, amongst the other surgeries, has mixed results; none of them are guaranteed. It may stop snoring but the apnea episodes may continue. The surgery might also work for a short time but then the symptoms return. If you do have access tissue obstructing your airwave, the surgery can provide relief once it's removed. There are plastic surgeons available for cosmetic options as well. Patients, including plastic surgery patients, should be screened to see if they need CPAP therapy before opting for surgery.

Often it takes a combination of procedures to achieve success. After surgery, many patients will be required to use a CPAP machine for a short time. Weight loss and a healthier lifestyle are also strongly recommended. Talk to your ENT doctor for a complete evaluation and to learn what treatment may be best for you.