There are several surgical procedures being performed on OSA patients daily. Ranging from simple outpatient types to complex procedures. Efficacy ranges from poor to good depending on the procedure. Oral appliances should be an appealing alternative to patients considering surgeries.
One of the most common surgical procedures done on Apnea patients is called Uvulopalatopharyngealplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the uvula and trimming tissue from the soft palate. This procedure can be effective if enough tissue is removed and the site of the obstruction is not in the hypopharynx. It is not uncommon for patients to return to the hospital to have additional procedures to improve results. This type of procedure is most effective on mild-moderate apnea in non-obese patients with extreme upper airway blockage.
The most extreme surgical option available to treat OSA is the two-jaw Maxillomandibular Advancement procedure. By moving the maxilla and mandible forward, the entire airway is enlarged. This is the most effective surgical treatment for OSA. The occlusal relationship is preserved because both upper and lower jaws are advanced equally. TMJ conditions should not arise because the mandible is simply extended. This procedure can be performed on all severities of OSA with success. The extreme nature of the surgery usually means it is reserved for patients with severe OSA who have failed other treatments. It is also indicated as primary treatment for patients with a severe jaw deformity that is contributing to their OSA.
There are other surgery treatment options such as tongue reduction surgery in which a section of the tongue is removed.
If this doesn’t seem like the right treatment for you, there is an attractive alternative – oral appliance therapy – a mouthpiece you wear at night and there is always lifestyle changes you can make as well to help alleviate the condition.