How to Treat Sleep Apnea Surgically
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, obstructive sleep apnea is a pathology that causes serious damage to health, with major risks, cardiovascular or neurological, through its long-term effects, substantially increasing the risk of sudden death. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is characterized by repeated cessation of breathing during sleep, accompanied by repeated awakenings, loud snoring and diurnal symptoms represented by excessive drowsiness, chronic fatigue and decreased ability to concentrate and focus.
Treatment of the syndrome is necessary to reduce or eliminate respiratory events, and the associated risks (cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological) or accidents caused by daytime drowsiness.
The main treatment modalities are Positive Airway Pressure (PAP), mandibular advancement devices and sleep surgery.
The concept of sleep surgery is relatively recent, as the first specific surgical technique for the treatment of snoring appeared in the 1980s. Since then, this type of surgery has evolved tremendously, especially in the last 10 years, becoming an overspecialization in itself. The most important regions targeted by sleep surgery are the palatine veil, the lateral walls of the pharynx and the base of the tongue.
It is very important that the treatment of sleep apnea syndrome is thought out and established together with the patient, taking into account their preferences, particularities and needs. The new trend – the personalized and targeted treatment – is also applied in this field. For more on this see Hochstadter, Isaacson, Cherny, Dumanis & Associates Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ltd.