Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by recurrent pauses in breathing during sleep, often accompanied by loud snoring. It can result in daytime fatigue, impaired cognitive function, and serious health issues such as hypertension and heart disease. While lifestyle changes and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy are initial treatment options, some individuals may explore surgical interventions when these methods prove ineffective.
Sleep apnea is a condition where one struggles with pauses in breathing during sleep. There are different types of sleep apnea, including:
If a patient needs sleep apnea surgery, they typically have severe obstructive sleep apnea. Your dentist or sleep specialist will recommend the best treatment for you.
Surgery for sleep apnea is usually a last-resort treatment. However, various surgical treatments may be recommended, including:
To learn more about surgical options, contact our dental team today.
Sleep apnea surgery won’t be recommended until all other options have been exhausted, such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy or oral appliance therapy. You’ll undergo a thorough evaluation to determine if you need surgery for sleep apnea.
Your suitability will depend on:
Patients can experience the following benefits after undergoing sleep apnea surgery:
Most sleep apnea surgeries will be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. The details of your surgery will be dependent upon the type of procedure you’re undergoing. However, most have the same goal of resolving airway obstruction. Recovery times will vary depending on the type of surgery performed, but most patients will be able to resume normal activities within a few weeks.
Make sure you do the following to ensure a smooth recovery:
Like with any surgical procedure, there are a few risks and complications patients should be aware of. These can include:
The average cost of a sleep apnea surgery ranges between $6,000 and $10,000. Your total cost will depend on various factors, including:
Surgery for sleep apnea can significantly improve or even eliminate sleep apnea symptoms in many cases, but it may not be a guaranteed cure for everyone. While some individuals may no longer require continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or other treatments after surgery, it’s essential to continue follow-up care and lifestyle modifications, as recommended by healthcare professionals, to maintain long-term benefits and minimize the risk of recurrence.
Pain and discomfort are common after sleep apnea surgery, but the level of pain varies depending on the type of procedure and the individual’s pain tolerance. Most surgeries are performed with general anesthesia to minimize pain during the operation. After the surgery, patients are typically prescribed pain medications to manage discomfort during the recovery period.
The most common surgical treatment for severe sleep apnea is called “uvulopalatopharyngoplasty” (UPPP). UPPP is typically performed on patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax excessively during sleep, causing a blockage of the upper airway and leading to repeated breathing pauses.
Each surgical treatment will vary. However, patients can expect to recover between three to four weeks after their surgery. Patients should notice improvements in their sleep apnea symptoms within two months.
Ready to say goodbye to your sleepless nights and treat sleep apnea? If you’ve tried other sleep apnea treatments and nothing has worked for you, you may need surgery. To learn more about surgical procedures for sleep apnea, contact our sleep dentist in Grand Haven today by calling (616) 842-2850 to set up an appointment.