Surgery Options For Sleep Apnea

The short break in the signal results in the breath coming to a halt and then restarting as soon as the signals resume which could take anything from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Then there was another type called the "Obstructive Sleep Apnea" (OSA). It sees the breathing stops because of a temporary obstruction that occurs in the wind pipe. The breathing restarts as soon as the obstruction is clear due to a combination of the person turning over or waking up, etc. "Is this as serious as it sounds?" I asked Allan. He just shrugged.

Poor Allan, he looked a bit rattled. And then the brochure mentioned a third type of sleep apnea which was basically a mixture of Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Darn, I thought, that sounded like a death trap.

The brochure mentioned that the only true remedy was surgery. The details were sketchy and it recommended we speak to our doctor. But how do you know you have any of this, I asked Allan. He showed me a something called the polysomnography test result and said his family doctor recommended surgery. We got into my truck and headed for the surgeon's clinic.

Pre-surgery examination
After a short wait, we were admitted into a well equipped consultation room. Allan brave the surgeon the polysomnography test results and I guess also a note from his family doctor. The surgeon spent the next half hour doing a detailed examination of Allan's nose and throat. He explained that the procedure was called "fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy".

Once the examination was completed, the surgeon said that he would like to perform something he called the "staged surgical protocol". He explained that he will do certain small procedures to alleviate the effects of sleep apnea. After a period of six months, he will conduct further examination and if he feels it is required, do another small procedure.

In other words, rather than do the entire procedure in one go, he would be doing it in a few small stages over a period of a year or so. This allows the surgeon and the patient to gauge the effectiveness of the earlier procedure. In the first stage he will do the "uvulopalatal flap" in combination with "hyoid promotion". The details are far too technical and I do not want to bore you with them so let me jump directly to the results of the first stage.

It's now been a month since Allan had the procedure done. His partner says that although his snoring has softened, it has not stopped completely. Meanwhile he's had another polysomnography test which revealed that the number of apnea episodes had dramatically reduced by almost 30%.