Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea surgery is a surgical procedure designed to help patients who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by disrupted sleep patterns in conjunction with dips in blood oxygen levels. Patients with OSA will frequently experience a dip in oxygen levels that is so dramatic, they end up waking up from sleep gasping for air.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available for correcting or at least improving this issue, including wearing a customized mouthpiece, making lifestyle changes, alternative medicine treatments, and for more serious cases, sleep apnea surgery. Every patient will have a slightly different case with regards to the severity of the obstruction and the airway pattern, so it will be necessary to have a thorough examination to determine which surgical approach is best for your specific needs.
At Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery, we offer a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures, specializing in facial reconstruction, facial surgery, corrective jaw surgery, obstructive sleep apnea, and wisdom tooth removal. If you would like to learn more about our services, or schedule an appointment for sleep apnea surgery, contact us today. New patients are welcome and a referral from another doctor is not required.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
The most common signs of sleep apnea include the following:
- Feelings of exhaustion, even after a good nights sleep
- General feelings of irritability or crankiness
- Difficulty concentrating and/or short-term memory loss
- Dry mouth upon waking
- Headache upon waking
Treating Sleep Apnea
Proper treatment of sleep apnea begins with a thorough examination and review of the patient’s medical history. This examination will include an x-ray or the patient’s skull, which will help identify what the level of obstruction is. A naso-pharyngeal exam may also be performed, which can confirm whether or not there are decreased oxygenation levels or cardiovascular issues. Sleep studies are also recommended for certain cases.
The Sleep Apnea Surgery Process
Prior to your procedure, you will need to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled professionals, during which we will discuss what issues you would like to address. Following this conversation, an evaluation will be performed to determine what options are available to you and which approach best aligns with your specific goals.
Obstruction can occur in a variety of areas, including the throat, tongue, and nose. The following are the most common surgical procedures that are performed to address these areas of obstruction.
- Nasal surgery: Daytime and nocturnal nasal obstruction are significant risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing. As such, treating nasal obstruction is one of the more common approaches to addressing sleep apnea. Turbinate reduction and septoplasty is the most common procedures performed, which involves straightening the septum and reducing the turbinates, thereby creating more room for air to pass through the nose. Patients who have nasal valve collapse will have a procedure that involves strategically placing the cartridge to prevent collapse from occurring and to strengthen the valve.
- UPPP: The most common surgical procedure for sleep apnea, this procedure involves removing the soft tissue from the pharynx and soft palate. If the patient’s tonsils are still present, they will also have to be removed. Once this tissue has been removed, sutures are used to prevent the area from collapsing. The upper airway (oropharynx) is where the obstruction most commonly occurs. Patients who have this procedure will need to spend one night in the hospital. It is common for patients to continue experiencing post-operative pain or discomfort up to one week.
- Pillar Procedure: A minimally invasive approach that is typically performed for patients with milder cases of sleep apnea. This procedure involves placing three rods in the soft palate, which creates an inflammatory response and causes the palate to stiffen. In doing so, the palate is less likely to touch the pharynx when the muscles relax as the patient enters deep sleep.
- Hyoid advancement: A minimally invasive procedure that repositions the hyoid bone (a small bone where the pharynx and tongue base muscles attach) to suspend to the front of the jaw bone, which expands the airway and prevents collapse from occurring.
- Tongue advancement: Procedure that advances the genioglossus muscle forward by making a cut in the jaw bone, moving the bone with the muscle attached forward, and then fixing the bone in place with a titanium plate. This procedure has a high success rate, but is more invasive than the hyoid advancement and will require an overnight stay in the hospital.
- Tongue base reduction: Because the base of tongue is a common site of obstruction, reducing tissue in this area can be effective in treating sleep apnea. This can be accomplished through a variety of procedures, including the use of radiofrequency waves or by direct excision, where tissue from the tongue base is removed by coblation or electrocautery.
- Lower jaw advancement: Procedure that expands the skeletal framework around the airway by advancing the upper and lower jaw bones up 10-12 mm. Once they have been moved to this position, they are stabilized through the use of plates. This procedure is incredibly complicated and will require patients to have their mouth wired shut for several weeks, but it does have a very high success rate.
Cost of Sleep Apnea Surgery
The cost of your procedure will be determined by a variety of factors, such as the severity of your condition, any unique health issues you have that may complicate the procedure, and what type of insurance plan you have. Our office will file your claim, handle the paperwork, and ensure you maximize your insurance reimbursement. The remaining balance following your insurance coverage will be your responsibility.
Prior to performing the procedure, we will discuss the expected cost, as well as payment plan options that are available to you, such as Lending Club and Care Credit, which offer 6 and 12 month interest-free payment plans.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Schedule Your Appointment
At Lake Norman Oral and Facial Surgery, we are committed to treating our patients the way we would expect to be treated. Because Dr. Haigney is a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, you can be confident you will receive care that implements the latest dental advancements and is informed by current research and best practices, resulting in you achieving the results you deserve.
To schedule a Sleep Apnea Surgery appointment or consultation, contact our staff at (704) 255-5888 or request an appointment online.