When nonsurgical treatments are not effective or practical for controlling sleep apnea symptoms, sleep apnea surgery may be the next best option. Our practice offers sleep apnea surgery at our offices in Los Angeles, CA, and Bakersfield, CA. Sleep apnea treatments may alter the soft palate, the shape of the jaw, or both, depending on the needs of the patient. When you come to our office, our surgeons will perform a full consultation to determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition.
Sleep Apnea and Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes breaks in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last for seconds or even minutes in severe cases. Most symptoms of sleep apnea occur at night, and usually, a partner or roommate notices signs of sleep apnea before the sufferer. Although most symptoms occur at night, sleep apnea can seriously affect your everyday life. You may have sleep apnea if you experience some of all the following symptoms:
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (often accompanied by a gasping sound when breathing resumes)
- Daytime sleepiness (even after a full night of sleep)
- Mental fog or difficulty concentrating during the day
- Insomnia or difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Changes in mood (depression, irritability, etc.)
- Frequent dry mouth or throat after waking up
Anyone can have sleep apnea, but it is most common in older male patients. People who think that they have sleep apnea should get diagnosed by a doctor or sleep specialist. Sleep apnea can seriously affect your quality of life: in addition to causing fatigue and other issues, the lack of adequate oxygen has been associated with higher blood pressure and heart disease. Seeking treatment as soon as possible is the best way to prevent potential problems.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Usually, lifestyle changes are the first step in treatment. Weight loss, reducing alcohol consumption, using a CPAP machine, and other treatments may control symptoms for some individuals. When these measures are not enough to treat sleep apnea, surgery may be considered. Our practice specializes in sleep apnea surgeries, especially jaw surgeries, which open the airway and prevent airway blockages.
Multiple surgeries can help improve sleep apnea symptoms.
- UPPP. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, also known as UPPP, involves altering the soft tissue in the back of the throat. Tightening or removing excess soft tissue in the back of the throat can clear the airway and improve breathing function at night. There are also laser-assisted soft palate surgeries and other treatments that create a similar airway-opening effect.
- Genioglossus Muscle Advancement. The tongue muscle attaches to the front part of your lower jaw. By bringing this attachment forward, the tongue has more room, and the airway is more open.
- Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA). Jaw surgery is the most effective treatment for curing sleep apnea when patients are not CPAP tolerant. In serious cases of sleep apnea, oral surgeons move the upper and/or lower jaws forward to create more space in the airway. This is a more extensive procedure that requires a longer patient recovery, but patients in need of jaw surgery find that the benefits are well worth the wait. Many patients report feeling more alert, having less mental fog, and breathing easier. In fact, MMA surgeries have a success rate of over 95% for cases of obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Surgeries in Los Angeles, CA, and Bakersfield, CA
If you are suffering from sleep apnea and you live near Los Angeles or Bakersfield, CA, our oral surgery team may be able to help you. Our surgeons can review your situation and discuss all your treatment options to help you make an educated decision about your health care. To learn more about sleep apnea treatments or to schedule a consultation, contact one of our offices today.