Sleep Apnea

If you snore, you know that the noise often disrupts the sleep of others. However, you may not know that snoring also effects you own sleep, and may even be a symptom of a potentially serious condition known as Sleep Apnea.

When a person suffers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), the throat becomes blocked during the night, stopping breathing for short periods of time. Often, your sleep partner will hear you alternate between loud snores and bouts of silence throughout the night. Besides snoring, other symptoms include; daytime sleepiness, falling asleep at inappropriate times, and problems with concentration or memory. Not only can OSAS leave you constantly tired and unfocused, it can also contribute to other health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke or sudden death.

If you think you suffer from OSAS, monitoring your sleep is the only sure way to tell. A sleep study records how your heart, lungs and other parts of your body function during sleep. Testing is usually done in a sleep laboratory (not by the Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon) and is necessary to determine the severity of your condition and the most appropriate means of treatment.

For the thousands of sufferers in the United States alone, snoring and sleep apnea rarely go away on their own, but fortunately they can be treated by a number of means. Certain lifestyle changes, as well as the use of air pressure and oral devices during sleep may lessen snoring and airway obstruction.

However, many times non-surgical treatments (specifically CPAP) are not tolerated or ineffective at treating OSAS and/or snoring, so any related breathing problems. If you opt for surgical correction of sleep apnea, pre and post-operative sleep studies are necessary to determine whether surgery was successful.

Our practice has a deep interest in the research and surgical treatment of OSAS. We have successfully operated on many patients in order to reduce or eradicate their sleep-related breathing problems.

The following methods are surgical treatments to correct OSAS, for further explanation of the procedures, please consult Dr. Collins.

Surgical Procedures for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Phase I

Phase I Surgery is an attempt to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea in less severe cases. Phase I Surgeries advance the tongue muscle off the back of the throat by advancing the front of the jaw.

Phase II

Phase II Surgery is a more advanced surgical procedure used to treat extreme cases of Sleep Apnea, as well as cases in which Phase I Surgeries have failed.

Phase II Surgery involves the advancement of both the upper maxilla and the lower mandible. All Phase II Surgeries are done within the mouth, requiring a three week period of upper and lower jaw fixation and a soft/liquid diet. Although the results of Phase II are very successful (greater than 90%), some post operative complications may occur, i.e. numbness or malalignment of teeth.

Palate Surgery

Palate Surgery helps correct snoring and sleep apnea by removing the area of obstruction between the palate and the base of the tongue. Palate surgeries generally have higher success rates for the control of snoring than for the treatment of sleep apnea.

Risks and Complications:

* Foods/Liquids flowing into nasal cavity during swallowing
* Failure to treat complete problem of sleep apnea

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