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Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea Surgery

Namely, there are more than a dozen procedures for alleviating sleep apnea by correcting anatomy including the tongue, soft palate, nose, and/ or jaw. Sleep apnea surgery is usually an outpatient surgery meaning that it does not require an overnight stay at the hospital.

To help you be well-informed about sleep apnea surgery, how to prepare, what to expect, and how to recover from it, we’ve come up with the following guide on everything you need to know about sleep apnea surgery. So, read on and find out.

How to Prepare for Sleep Apnea Surgery?

Surgery for sleep apnea does require certain preparation regarding food and drink consumption, medications, as well as what to wear and bring to the hospital. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you make a consultation with the surgeon before your surgery. U

In general, you should wear loose and comfortable clothes and leave any valuables at home. However, ensure you have your medical insurance and personal identification card with you. Also, make a list of prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. And, if you have to spend the night at the hospital, bring toiletries, too.

Regarding food and drink, it is recommended that you don’t consume anything for 12 hours before the surgery if you are going to have general anesthesia. And, if you are taking medications regularly and have to take them in those 12 hours before the surgery, your doctor may allow you to do so.

What to Expect During Surgery?

As we already mentioned, different procedures may be performed to correct anatomy that may cause breathing obstructions. Depending on the procedures, the surgery will require either local or general anesthesia.

Common Procedures

Some of the most commonly performed sleep apnea surgery procedures include:

  • Nasal septoplasty – nasal septum straightening and repositioning
  • Turbinectomy – nasal turbinates removal
  • Tonsillectomy – tonsils removal
  • Adenoidectomy – adenoids removal
  • Palatopharyngoplasty or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty – uvula, soft palate, and pharynx tissue removal
  • Lateral pharyngoplasty – soft palate removal or remodeling
  • Palatal advancement pharyngoplasty – hard palate removal
  • Relocation pharyngoplasty – sewing the muscles located on the sides of the throat
  • Tongue radiofrequency – tongue tissue reduction
  • Hyoid suspension – hyoid bone repositioning
  • Maxillomandibular advancement – upper and lower jaw forward movement
  • Tracheostomy – placing a tube into the throat, i.e. windpipe

Depending on the procedure needed, sleep apnea surgery may last from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. Just ensure you discuss everything with your doctor prior to surgery.

What to Expect after Sleep Apnea Surgery?

Finally, the procedure performed and the anesthesia required will determine whether or not you should stay at the hospital longer. As explained in the introduction, sleep apnea surgery is typically an outpatient surgery which means that you should leave the hospital once you wake up in the post-op recovery room.

Regardless of the procedure, before you leave the hospital, you will be provided with further instructions on post-operative care. The doctor will also explain how long will it take you to continue your normal activities including working and eating and what to do if you notice any changes in breathing, infection signs, or bleeding.

To conclude, having a discussion with your doctor before surgery is essential to get informed and understand the procedure. Make sure you ask everything you want to know and reassess your condition after the surgery so that you and your doctor know how successful the procedure was and whether or not you need further sleep apnea treatment.

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