Surgery for obstructive sleep apnea usually isn't done unless other treatments have failed or you are unable or choose not to use other treatments.
- Reference Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This is the most common surgery to treat sleep apnea in adults.
- Reference Tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. This is often the first treatment option for children, because enlarged tonsils and adenoids are usually the cause of their sleep apnea.
- Reference Tracheostomy. Although this is effective at treating sleep apnea, it is done only when other treatments have failed or when treatment is needed right away.
- Maxillo-mandibular advancement (MMA). This moves the upper and lower jaw forward to increase the size of the airway.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This reduces the size of the tongue and other tissues that may be blocking airflow to the lungs.
- Palatal implants. These are small plastic rods that are implanted in the Reference soft palate Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window. They make the soft palate stiffer to keep the tissue from blocking the airway.
- Reference Other surgical procedures to repair bone and tissue problems in the mouth and throat.
- Reference Bariatric surgery Opens New Window. This surgery can promote weight loss that improves sleep apnea.Reference 10
What to think about
If you are thinking about having surgery to treat sleep apnea, talk with your doctor about having a Reference sleep study done first.
Experts typically suggest that you try Reference continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) Opens New Window before considering surgery.
Reference Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty uses a laser to perform surgery. It is sometimes used to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea, although not all people benefit. This surgery is not recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to treat sleep apnea.Reference 11, Reference 12
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 20, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Mark A. Rasmus, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine