Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) often causes low blood oxygen levels and disrupts their sleep. The obstruction occurs when the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat, blocking the airflow. The oxygen level in the brain decreases and the sleeper partially awakes, clearing the obstruction. The repetition of this cycle leads to serious cardiovascular problems. These individuals suffer from excessive daytime drowsiness, depression, and loss of concentration. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer consultation and treatment options, but the first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation.

Who Should Have Sleep Apnea Treatment?

Those experiencing obstructed breathing at night may benefit from consulting a doctor about Sleep Apnea treatment.

The Procedure

During a consultation, our doctors will consider your medical history and a Cephalometic analysis (skull x-ray) to determine the level of obstruction. An examination also may be done using a fiber-optic camera, or the doctor may recommend a sleep study be done to monitor you overnight. 

An initial treatment option may include using a machine that provides pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask at night. 

Surgical options include a UPPP (uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty) or a LAUPP (laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty). A UPPP is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat, and a LAUPP is a similar procedure done with the assistance of a laser.

If the situation is more complex, a surgery may be required to reposition the upper and lower jaw to increase the size of the airway. A jaw surgery would be done in a hospital under general anesthesia and would require a one to two day overnight stay in the hospital.