Several minimally-invasive sleep apnea surgery options are available if you are noncompliant with your CPAP mask. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that causes your sleep to be disrupted by pauses of breathing. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of related concerns, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, depression and accident risk from fatigue.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment is often prescribed to snoring and sleep apnea suffers, and for good reason. It is highly effective. Unfortunately, up to 80% of those with CPAP machines do not use them. Bulky masks can be difficult to sleep with, and many users deal with leaks that are noisy or cause air to blow onto the face or eyes.
When CPAP masks become too much to handle, many sleep apnea sufferers simply abandon treatment altogether. Not only is this medically risky, it’s completely unnecessary, especially with today’s myriad of sleep apnea surgery options.
What Are Non-Surgical Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?
A wide variety of sleep apnea surgery options are available for sleep apnea sufferers, and they type you should consider depends mainly on your symptoms and their severity. The first step to determining the best treatment is to pinpoint the site (or sites) of your airway obstruction. There are many reasons why you might be having difficulty breathing, and in some cases, there is more than one problem site.
Potential problem areas may include your nasal passages, throat, tongue, tonsils, soft palate or uvula. These could all be further complicated by outside factors, from normal aging and weight gain to a swollen throat.
Once a board-certified otolaryngologist has identified what is causing the problem, then your treatment options can be explored. These range from minimally invasive in-office procedures to dental appliances to outpatient surgery. Most of these procedures take 30 minutes or less to perform.
What Are Sleep Apnea Surgery Options?
As medical technology has expanded, so has the number of surgical treatments available to treat sleep apnea. Here are just some of the alternatives to the CPAP mask:
- Balloon Sinuplasty – This minimally invasive procedure opens your blocked sinus cavities and takes less than 30 minutes to perform, under local anesthesia.
- Palate Coblation® – This procedure is minimally invasive and uses radio frequency energy to stiffen the soft palate. This is an in-office procedure that usually takes less than 30 minutes to perform under local anesthesia.
- The Pillar® Procedure – This minimally invasive procedure stiffens the soft palate by inserting small implants. It is conducted in-office and takes less than 30 minutes, under local anesthesia.
- Coblation® Turbinate Reduction – This medical procedure is minimally invasive and uses radiofrequency energy to reduce the size of your nasal turbinates. It is performed in-office, under local anesthesia and takes less than 30 minutes.
- Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) – This minimally invasive procedure shrinks the size of your elongated or enlarged uvula with laser technology. This is an in-office procedure that takes less than 30 minutes.
- Laser-Assisted Tonsil Ablation – This procedure is minimally invasive and reduces the size of your tonsils, using laser technology, rather than surgery. It is performed in-office and takes less than 30 minutes.
- Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – This is an outpatient surgical procedure that uses a small fiber-optic telescope (endoscope) that is inserted into the sinus opens and removes small amounts of tissue or bone that is blocking your nasal passages. This is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, under general anesthesia.
If you think that you may be a candidate for sleep apnea surgery, consult with the board-certified otolaryngologists at eos Sleep. They will partner with you to determine the underlying cause of your sleep apnea and determine which surgical options would work best for your condition and your lifestyle.
Begin by scheduling your appointment. Our specialists have experience utilizing the state-of-the-art technology that is helping sleep apnea sufferers to find long-term relief from their symptoms.