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Are There Minimally Invasive Procedures Available for Sleep Apnea?

Women talking to doctor and nurse about her sleep procedure

Sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your nightly sleep as well as your ongoing overall health. You’ve probably heard of CPAP machines, but there are also many other types of treatment, including minimally invasive procedures, that can be effective in relieving sleep apnea.

In this blog, the sleep doctors at eos sleep in NYC explain more about the minimally invasive procedures for sleep apnea and how they may be able to help you:

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that’s characterized by repeated stoppages in breathing during the night. The cycle can repeat itself hundreds of times a night as your airway becomes repeatedly blocked, causing the pauses in breathing as well as other symptoms. Your body and brain are deprived of oxygen as you stop breathing, and you probably won’t be aware that it’s happening.

What are the symptoms?

Sleep apnea can cause the following symptoms:

  • Repeated episodes where you stop breathing during sleep
  • Choking, gasping sounds as you start to breathe again
  • Chronic loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, even when you seem to get enough sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • A morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering

In addition to these symptoms, sleep apnea can also increase your risk of developing chronic long-term health issues including the following:

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke

Are there minimally invasive procedures available to treat sleep apnea?

There are many minimally invasive procedures for sleep apnea, and your doctor may recommend one based on what’s causing your blockages and your success with non-invasive treatments.

These procedures include the following:

  • Palate Coblation – uses radiofrequency energy to stiffen the soft palate (the muscular part of the mouth located in the back)
  • Pillar Procedure – uses small implants to stiffen the soft palate
  • Coblation Turbinate Reduction – uses radiofrequency energy to reduce the size of nasal turbinates (structures on the inside wall of the nose)
  • Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty – uses laser technology to reduce the size of a large or long uvula (the fleshy hanging structure at the back of the throat
  • Laser-assisted Tonsil Ablation – uses laser technology to reduce the size of the tonsils
  • Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue – uses radiofrequency energy to tighten and shrink the base of the tongue
  • Balloon Sinuplasty – uses tiny removable balloons to open and clear blocked sinus cavities
  • Latera – uses a tiny implant to support cartilage in the lateral nasal wall and correct a collapsed nasal airway

What is recovery like?

Recovering from a minimally invasive procedure is generally fast and easy, and you can quickly resume your normal activities. Since only local anesthesia is used, you won’t have to worry about waking up and having effects from general anesthesia, and many procedures take only about 30 minutes.

Who makes a good candidate?

You may be a good candidate for a minimally invasive sleep apnea procedure if you haven’t received enough relief from a CPAP machine or oral appliance or have been unable to tolerate them.

If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with sleep apnea, make an appointment today with eos sleep in NYC. We offer home sleep studies to diagnose sleep apnea as well as treatments including non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures as well as inpatient and outpatient surgeries. Our sleep doctors are dedicated to providing the most effective relief possible to help you get the restorative sleep you need!

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