Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery 1-713-791-0700

Surgical Procedures to Treat Obstructive
Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder
characterized by complete or partial obstruction in the
upper airway during sleep. bstruction in the upper airway
may happen due to collapse of e!cess soft tissue in the soft
palate" tonsillar pillars" tongue" tongue base" and
hypopharyngeal walls" temporarily bloc#ing the inflow of
air. People under any age group can de$elop %& and its
symptoms include habitual snoring" labored breathing"
obser$ed apneas" restless sleep" and daytime
neurobeha$ioral problems. ften" the patient is not the first
one to recognize the signs. & person who obser$es the
patient at rest may be the first one to notice the problem.
Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
nce %& is diagnosed" the plastic surgeon will perform a
physical e!am and e$aluate the medical and sleep history
of the patient to determine the most suitable treatment
method. 'ere are the different approaches to treat the
Tracheotomy )n this surgical procedure" the plastic
surgeon creates a permanent opening or hole in the nec# to
the windpipe *trachea+. & tube is inserted into the windpipe
to let air in. ,he opening allows the effecti$e mo$ement of
air" without touching upper airway" bypassing the upper
throat" tongue" mouth" and nasal passages.
Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery 1-713-791-0700
,racheotomy is suitable to treat obstructi$e sleep apnea as
the condition occurs due to collapses in the upper airway"
leading to repetiti$e pauses in breathing. ,his issue can be
greatly impro$ed by remo$ing the resistance of the upper
Tonsillectomy -nlarged tonsils and adenoids are the usual
reasons for obstructi$e sleep apnea in children.
,onsillectomy in$ol$es the remo$al of adenoids and tonsils
that cause bloc#ages in the child.s air passage" thereby
helping to resolve sleep-related breathing disorder.
!vulopalatopharyngoplasty (!PPP)( ,his procedure is
used in cases when %& is caused by an enlarged tongue.
-!cess tissues in the throat are remo$ed to ma#e the airway
wider" allowing air to mo$e more easily through the throat
when the patient breathes. ,he u$ula *soft finger-shaped
tissue that hangs down from the bac# of the roof of the
mouth into the throat+" a portion of soft palate" tonsils" or
adenoids are considered for remo$al" to ma#e the airway
"enioglossus advancement( )n this procedure" the muscles
of the tongue base are ad$anced forward on a small piece
of bone attached to the mandible. ,his places tension on the
tongue musculature" restricting the posterior displacement
during sleep.
Hyoid myotomy( 'yoid myotomy is not usually
performed as a standalone procedure but combined with
other procedures to enlarge a portion of the airway. )n this
Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery 1-713-791-0700
case also" the muscles of the tongue base are ad$anced
forward causing the tongue base to pull away from the bac#
of the throat" thus enlarging the airway.
#a$illomandibular advancement (##A)( )n //&" the
bones of both the upper and lower 0aw are cut and
ad$anced forward. ,he procedure not only physically
enlarges the airway but also puts the muscles of the airway
under constant tension to pre$ent airway collapse. )t can be
effecti$e for treating sleep apnea as well as other conditions
such as high blood pressure" daytime sleepiness"
depression" or concentration impairment.
%istraction osteogenesis( 1istraction osteogenesis is
usually used for correcting %& in children. )n adults" it is
used to a$oid scarring from prior surgeries and se$ere bony
abnormalities which were pre$iously uncorrectable. 'ere"
the distraction of lower bone is done by stretching it to
create a larger and more anatomically normal bony shape.
'ouston in ,e!as has se$eral plastic surgeons that pro$ide
treatment for %&. Choosing an e!perienced board-
certified surgeon in an &&&&%2-accredited surgical center
pro$iding sleep apnea treatment would ensure an optimal