What to anticipate before the procedure
Your initial visit will include a review of your health history, pertinent x-rays, a thorough oral exam, and diagnosis/treatment planning. The Oral Surgeon will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctors can ascertain the level of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight. Often an initial CPAP machine is tried prior to surgical options being explored.
Should you choose to schedule treatment, the details of your surgery and anesthesia options will be explained. Your Oral Surgeon will review Sleep Apnea Surgery pre- and post-operative care instructions with you. This procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia, and a patient can expect to stay one to two nights.
What to anticipate during the procedure
There are several surgical treatment options are available. One of the surgical options is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is sometimes done with the assistance of a laser and is called a laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUPP). In other cases, a radio-frequency probe is utilized to tighten the soft palate. These procedures usually performed under light IV sedation in the office.
In more complex cases, the bones of the upper and lower jaw may be repositioned to increase the size of the airway (orthognathic surgery). This procedure is done in the hospital under general anesthesia and requires a one to two day overnight stay in the hospital.