Sleep apnea surgery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Saarah T. Alkhairy, M.D.


Surgery, usually the second line of treatment, is usually very effective in treating snoring. It could either be an inpatient or an outpatient procedure. Several surgical options exist depending on the site of the obstruction in the airway.

Sleep Apnea Surgery

  • Surgery is a second line of treatment for those who reject CPAP treatment or are not helped by it
  • Surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea needs to be individualized in order to address all anatomical areas of obstruction:
  • Correction of the nasal passages and oropharynx passage
  • Septoplasty and turbinate surgery
  • Tonsillectomy and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • Base-of-tongue advancement by means of advancing the genial tubercle of the mandible
  • Hyoid bone myotomy and suspension
  • Various radiofrequency
  • Shrink or stiffen excess tissue in the mouth or throat[1]

The Pillar Procedure

  • A minimally invasive treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
  • Three to six or more Dacron (the material used in permanent sutures) strips are inserted into the soft palate
  • The soft palate is more rigid and snoring and sleep apnea can be reduced

Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA)

  • Is considered the most effective surgery for sleep apnea patients[2] because it increases the posterior airway space (PAS)[3]
  • The main benefit of the operation is that the oxygen saturation in the arterial blood increases
  • Maxillomandibular advancement surgery is often combined with Genioglossus Advancement, as both are skeletal surgeries for sleep apnea


  1. "What Is Sleep Apnea? - NHLBI, NIH". Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  2. Prinsell JR (2002). "Maxillomandibular advancement surgery for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome". Journal of the American Dental Association. 133 (11): 1489–97, quiz 1539–40. PMID 12462692. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. Lye KW, Waite PD, Meara D, Wang D (2008). "Quality of life evaluation of maxillomandibular advancement surgery for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea". Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 66 (5): 968–72. doi:10.1016/j.joms.2007.11.031. PMID 18423288. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

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