couple in bed with husband snoring

Sleep Apnea and Surgical Treatment

People with OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea, find that using a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure) helps with moderate to severe conditions. However, many are unable to stick with this treatment. They quit for a variety of reasons, mostly because the device is cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are treatments that can be performed that result in improved breathing, daytime wakefulness, quality of life, and a lower cardiovascular risk. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School lists several surgical treatments for sleep apnea, including Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA).

During Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the airway muscles, large tonsils, the tongue or excess tissue obstructs a person’s airway. As a result of blocked airway, breathing stops and starts during sleep. This is dangerous, and results in daytime sleepiness, impaired brain function that impacts daily activities, and increased cardiovascular risk.

The Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery published a report in 2019 that MMA is a significantly safe & effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In this surgery, the upper and lower jaws are moved forward, changing the shape of the jaw in order to enlarge the airway. The study found that patients experienced significant improvements, including better breathing, sleeping, and lower blood pressure. Nearly 94% of patients met normal levels of sleepiness after surgery. In addition, few adverse events related to treatment were found.

If you think this procedure might be of interest to you, please contact our office. Our doctors can answer your questions and review your individual health history to help you make a decision whether this could be a successful option for you.

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