CFDSM - The Center for Craniofacial and Dental Sleep Medicine - Restoring Healthy Sleep

Sleep Apnea Surgery

Sleep apnea surgery could be an appropriate option under certain circumstances. These circumstances include a patient trying and failing CPAP, weight loss, alcohol management and a trial of an oral appliance/MAD device.

There are several types of sleep apnea surgical procedures. They are categorized by the following:

• Intra- vs. Extra-pharyngeal procedures
• Soft tissue vs. Hard tissue procedures
• Snoring vs. OSA procedures
• Minimally-invasive vs. Invasive procedures
• Site-specific vs. Diffuse Airway therapy
• Anatomic-based classifications

Common Sleep Apnea Surgical Procedures

• Bariatric Surgery
• Trachesotomy
• Tonsillectomy
• Adenotonsillectomy
• Corrective Nasal Surgery
• Unvulopalatopharyngoplasty
• Palatal Implants
• Genioglossus Advancement
• Maxillary Mandibular Advancement

Arguments for Sleep Apnea Surgery:

• Other devices offer good control when used, but may only be worn part of the sleep time,
whereas surgery is applicable to the total sleep time.
• Oral devices offer no clinical benefit if not used, and used for only part of the sleep time is
more common than full time use
• Expecting young persons to maintain compliance with devices over a long potential life span
may be unrealistic.

Arguments Against Sleep Apnea Surgery:

• Surgery is not always appropriate or cost-effective
• Other than MMA, improvements are rarely sustained beyond 12 to 24 months

Adverse Effects:

62% of surgery patients reported persistent adverse effects following soft palate surgery.

• Dry throat
• Difficulty swallowing
• Voice changes
• Disturbances of smell and taste