Our professionally trained doctors at Marina del Rey Hospital have vowed to always look after their patients and to ensure that they get the best treatment available.
Sleep apnea can be a condition that doesn’t only affect the quality of sleep of the patient and that of the people surrounding him, but it can also have severe repercussions on his health, like increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing is blocked partially or completely during sleep. People who suffer from it have different symptoms, the most common ones being: loud snoring, waking up with a sore throat, waking up with headaches, feeling extremely tired after waking up and many others. Sleep apnea can be caused by a different number of factors, such as excess tissue in the throat, nasal obstructions or turbinates with an increased size. Because of the constant stops in breathing, which can exceed 30 times in an hour, people are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and high blood pressure in the lungs which can later transform in more serious illnesses.
There are different types of surgeries performed to treat sleep apnea. The most common ones are uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and nasal surgery in regards to the septum and the turbinates. The first one involves removing the excess tissue from the throat. The patient is put under anesthesia and then the surgeon removes the tonsils, a part of the soft palate and the uvula. Using stitches, the tissue is held together in order to widen the patient’s airway. Although it has been effective in treating this condition, it is mostly used to cure mild to moderate sleep apnea. Severe cases should be treated using other procedures. Nasal surgery is mostly used to treat a deviated septum and to reduce the turbinate in order to clear the obstruction of the airways. It has been proven to be very effective as air can pass more easily and patients no longer have trouble breathing.
Curing sleep apnea can have the following benefits:
The recovery time for these surgeries is not a long one. Both of them are outpatient procedures, which means that the patient can leave the hospital on the same day as the procedure. Certain pain medication will have to be taken and, of course, the patient will be put on a special diet to ensure that the wounds in his mouth heal properly. There are chances that these surgeries will not completely cure sleep apnea, so people might still have to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a ventilator which helps with breathing and opening up the airways in sleeping patients.
As with any surgeries, these procedures come with some risks. The most common ones are getting an infection at the incision site or heavy bleeding of the wounds. Uncommon ones include speech problems, difficulty in swallowing for a long period of time, losing the sense of smell and changes in how food tastes.
Many people treat sleep apnea as a condition that can be easily brushed off. Even though it is not dangerous in its initial phases, it can still have severe consequences on someone’s health. If you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea and CPAP did not help ease the symptoms, surgery might be required. Call Marina del Rey Hospital at 888.600.5600 and speak to one of our surgeons to make an appointment.
Matthew K. Lee, M.D.See Profile »
Evan S. Walgama, M.D.See Profile »
Henry H. Chen, M.D., M.B.A.See Profile »
Gene C. Liu, M.D.See Profile »
Arthur W. Wu, M.D.See Profile »
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Abraham Tzadik, M.D.See Profile »
Marc J. Kayem, M.D.See Profile »
Allen Ho, M.D.See Profile »
Jon Mallen-St. Clair, M.D., Ph.D.See Profile »
Anca Barbu, M.D., FACSSee Profile »