The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons offer consultation and treatment options.
In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. Using a radiographic (“x-ray”) analysis, our doctors may ascertain the probable 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 individuals overnight to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity.
There are several treatment options available. An initial treatment may consist of behavioural modifications, using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask to limit obstruction at night, or a dental appliance that tries to reposition the lower jaw further forward while sleeping. Many treatments involve a team of professionals; your surgeon may recommend consultation with prior to any surgery or treatment being done.
One of the surgical options is a uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is sometime done with the assistance of a laser and is called a Laser Assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUP). In other cases, a radio-frequency probe is utilized to tighten the soft palate.
In some 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 and requires a 1 to 2 day stay. Though it may sound “extreme”, it is also the most successful option for severe sleep apnea and is actually a very safe and commonly performed procedure by our surgeons.
OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.
For more information on Sleep Apnea treatment, please call us today!