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Sleep Survey

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Surgery for Sleep Apnea

Some patients with sleep apnea can benefit from surgery. How successful surgery will be and the type of surgery that is needed depends on the cause of the sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea surgery involves widening the breathing passages. This usually includes stiffening, shrinking, or removing excess tissue in the mouth or throat. Sometimes resetting the lower jaw is necessary as well.

A series of treatments might be needed to shrink or stiffen tissue in the mouth. Shrinking can be done in the hospital or a doctor’s office and often involves small injections into the tissue. Stiffening is usually done by making a small incision in the tissue and inserting a small piece of stiff plastic.

Removing excess tissue is done in a hospital under a general anesthetic. After the surgery, there may be throat pain for up to 2 weeks.

In children (or some adults), the tonsils might be blocking their airways, so surgery to remove the tonsils may be necessary.