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Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment: Know More about the Treatment

Posted Jun 14 2013 9:11am

OSA or obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which occurs when the muscles of the throat relax occasionally, owing to which the airway is blocked while sleeping. There are effective obstructive sleep apnea treatment options that bring great relief to patients. Given below are some of the symptoms of OSA:

  • Untimely and irregular tiredness and daytime sleepiness
  • Excessive irritability and snoring
  • Interruption in breathing during sleep due to blockage of the upper airway
  • Immediate awakening with sore throat and dry mouth
  • High blood pressure, morning headache and depression
  • Fluctuations in body weight
  • Poor memory and difficulty concentrating on work

There are various plastic surgery centers where surgical treatment is provided for:

  • Anatomic airway defects
  • Co-existing conditions such as heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure and more
  • Extreme as well as medium OSA patients
  • Patients who have low apnea but still experience extreme sleepiness during daytime


What Are the Surgical Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?


Appropriate treatment for sleep apnea is chosen depending on the anatomy of individual patients as well as on the severity of the disease. Common surgical treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Tracheostomy

In this surgical procedure, the surgeon would create an opening through the lower neck into the windpipe (trachea). A tube is placed through this opening for providing an airway.

  • Tonsillectomy

Air passage is blocked when adenoids and tonsils are enlarged. Therefore, in OSA treatment, it is recommended to remove it.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

In this treatment, soft tissue of the soft palate and uvula are removed to rectify the abnormalities of the airway. Tonsils and adenoids are also removed. Patients require hospital stay following this surgery.

  • Hyoid Myotomy

The surgeon makes a small incision above the Adam’s apple. The soft tissues are divided to reach the hyoid bone. The muscles are partially separated from the hyoid bone, after which the hyoid bone is secured to the more anterior thyroid cartilage. This prevents the attached tongue from collapsing against the back of the throat. The muscles of the tongue base are brought forward; this helps to pull the tongue base away from the back of the throat and enlarge the airway.

  • Genioglossus advancement

This procedure is performed with other procedures such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or hyoid myotomy. In this procedure, the muscles of the tongue base are advanced forward on a small piece of bone attached to the mandible. As a result, the hypopharyngeal airway is enlarged.

  • Maxillomandibular advancement

This is a very effective treatment for severe as well as mild OSA. The surgeon cuts the bones of both the lower and upper jaw and advances them forward for easy air passage. The procedure enlarges the airway, and also puts the muscles of the airway under constant tension as a result of which their floppy quality is considerably reduced. This helps in preventing airway collapse.

  • Distraction Osteogenesis

This treatment is extremely beneficial for toddlers as well as young children. Commonly provided for children with Pierre Robin sequence, Treacher Collins syndrome, and hemifacial microsomia, this procedure involves making surgical incisions in the lower jawbone and placing devices over these incisions that gradually stretch the bones. As a result, a larger and more anatomically normal bony shape is achieved.


For treating obstructive sleep apnea efficiently, an experienced and trained plastic surgeon should be selected. Select a plastic surgery center that has received accreditation from the AAASF and offers the services of reliable and experienced plastic surgeons. Extensive research should be done for finding quality treatment options.

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