Sleep Apnea

Adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) suffer from poor sleep quality, fatigue, and health risks including heart disease and high blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea in Adults

One of the problems associated with sleep apnea is that the mouth’s soft palate partially or totally blocks, or obstructs, the patient’s airway. The vibration of the soft palate is what we hear when a person snores. More dangerous is the cutting off of the patient’s air supply — he or she can stop breathing as often as hundreds of times per night and sometimes for a minute or longer each time.

Sleep Apnea in Children

The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children are enlarged adenoids or tonsils which may be treated with a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy. 2-4% of preschool children are affected by sleep apnea. Does your child snore? Untreated sleep apnea can lead to behavior problems, learning difficulties, nightmares, morning headaches, and sleep deprivation.

Treatment Options For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Pillar Procedure

The Pillar Procedure can offer relief for patients who suffer from daytime sleepiness, mild sleep apnea, and snoring. The new, minimally invasive Pillar® Procedure addresses this problem by placing three small (less than 2 cm) woven inserts into the soft palate to reduce vibration and provide support to the tissues. The inserts are made of a material that has been used in implanted medical devices for over 50 years. They can’t be seen or felt, and do not affect speech or swallowing.

The procedure provides an attractive alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. The Pillar Procedure can offer relief from snoring and sleep apnea-related complications, helping patients and their loved ones sleep more soundly. Talk with your doctor to see if the procedure is right for you.

UPPP / Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

A UPPP procedure may be recommended for patients who suffer from sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness, gasping for breath, and/or complaints of snoring.

A uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a procedure used to tighten the soft palate and remove the uvula. The tonsils must be removed for this procedure. As a result, the procedure will be somewhat shorter if the patient has had a previous tonsillectomy. Patients are sedated and are “put to sleep” for the duration of the procedure. The surgery consists of pulling back the uvula in order to identify a wrinkle line. The line is used to locate the mucous membrane that will be removed. The uvula is then removed as well. Your doctor will then sew the margins of the incisions together using a dissolvable suture called Monocryl. The suture takes 1-3 weeks to dissolve completely.