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Sleep apnea surgery is recommended when other types of treatment have not improved your sleep apnea. There are various types of sleep apnea surgery and each one focuses on a few different body parts, including the nose, tongue, palate (the soft tissue in the back of your mouth and throat), as well as the bones of your face, jaw, and neck.
Nasal surgery is performed if you have a deviated septum or any growths such as polyps that can get in the way of your breathing. With tongue surgery, part of the base of your tongue is removed or your tongue is firmed up by pulling the muscles that attach it to your jaw in order to keep your tongue from blocking your airway. If your doctor recommends palate surgery, your doctor may perform tonsillectomy, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, palate radiofrequency, or palate implants. If you need surgery to your bones, your surgeon may break your upper and lower jaw and move everything forward to make your airways bigger.
Depending on which procedure you underwent, you may need to stay in Villach for 7 to 14 days or until your surgeon allows you to travel. During your stay, you will attend follow up checkups where your condition will be monitored and any stitches will be removed.
The recovery period varies depending on the type of surgery you undergo as well as your overall health. It may take several weeks or months until you can return to your normal activities (including work and exercise) and eat your normal diet.
Different types of surgery may have different aftercare. Your surgeon will give you a set of instructions that include wound care, dietary restrictions, and exercises. You may also need to attend a follow-up checkup with your local doctor to monitor your healing progress.
Sleep apnea surgery is generally safe and effective. Removing part of your base tongue has around 60% success rate, but surgery performed to your bones offer a higher success rate. The side effects and risks of sleep apnea surgery are infections, excessive bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, urinary retention, additional breathing problems, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.
Surgery is normally not required if your problem can be managed with non-surgical treatment. Your doctor may recommend a nerve stimulator, mouthpieces, special pillows, or a device called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) as the alternatives. Make sure to discuss with your doctor the best option for your case.
Sleep apnea prevents you from sleeping well, making you feel sleepy and unable to think straight during the day. It can be dangerous for your day-to-day life and increase the chance of having an accident while driving or at work. After the surgery, you can start sleeping well and your quality of life will be greatly improved.
Whilst the information presented here has been accurately sourced and verified by a medical professional for its accuracy, it is still advised to consult with your doctor before pursuing a medical treatment at one of the listed medical providers. This content was last updated on 08/01/2023.