Sleep Apnea Procedures

Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes breathing cessation during sleep, can be a very serious disorder and should be evaluated immediately. Unfortunately, most people suffering from sleep apnea are unaware that they have it, as it is usually first observed by a sleeping partner.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Heavy snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Choking or gasping during sleep
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Restless sleep
  • Overweight/large neck
  • Morning headaches

Often, a C-PAP device is used to help control sleep apnea. This device uses a mask or a nose-piece that supplies constant and steady air pressure throughout the night. However, there are several surgical alternatives for those who can’t tolerate the C-PAP device or for whom a C-PAP device is not recommended.

A few of these surgical alternatives include:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)- This procedure stiffens the soft palate by removing part of the uvula, preventing an airway collapse that can cause sleep apnea.
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GGA) – This procedure is designed to open the upper breathing passage. During a GGA, the front tongue tendon is tightened, thus reducing the tongue’s obstruction of the throat. This operation is often performed in addition to other procedures,like the UPPP or hyoid suspension.
  • Hyoid Suspension - The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck, above the Adam's apple. This bone has an attachment to the muscles of the tongue, as well as other muscles and soft tissues around the throat. A hyoid suspension surgery secures the hyoid bone to the cartilage and stabilizes this region of the airway.

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from sleep apnea, please call Denver Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule and appointment to see Dr. Matthew Schacht today.