Sleep apnea surgery by a maxillofacial surgeon may be recommended if you have a deviated nasal septum, enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite that causes the throat airway to be too narrow.  The most common surgeries are:

  • Nasal surgery:  To correct nasal problems such as a deviated septum.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP):  Removal of soft tissue on the back of the throat and palate, to increase the width of the airway at the opening of the throat.
  • Mandibular maxillar advancement surgery:  Repositions jaws to enlarge airway.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that needs to be treated.  A definitive diagnosis of sleep apnea can only be made with a sleep study conducted during a visit to a sleep lab, usually overnight, or a home study performed with special equipment.

Some of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:

  • Daytime fatigue, lack of energy
  • Dry mouth when you wake up (from breathing through your mouth)
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Waking up occasionally with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Headaches
  • Night sweats or restless sleep, or insomnia
  • Loud snoring, snorting, or choking sounds
  • Silent pauses in breathing
  • Trouble concentrating during the day
  • Unintentional sleeping while driving or sitting at a desk, lecture, etc.
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes, decreased interest in sex

As one person with no idea he had sleep apnea related, “It started insidiously enough. I felt a little more tired than usual and I began to have a little trouble concentrating. My memory was a little off as well. No big deal, just a hair off normal levels and, after all I had turned 50 so I could expect some slowing down, couldn’t I?”  At the same time, his wife began complaining that his snoring was becoming difficult to live with. He thought, “Hey, how bad could it be, everyone snores. Big deal.”

Yes, Big Deal!  Your brain and body becomes oxygen deprived, waking you up, and all those breaks in sleep take a toll on your body and mind.  Untreated sleep apnea can result in a number of problems, some serious:

  • Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
  • Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
  • Make irregular heartbeats more likely
  • Worsen ADHD
  • Cause depression and relationship problems
  • Under-achievement in children and adolescents
  • Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

The patient went on to say he had begun falling asleep in meetings. The changes were so gradual that he had a hard time seeing a pattern. He could rationalize or find an explanation for everything he was experiencing.  But the problem kept getting worse.

You may be tempted to delay action, but be aware that the consequences of untreated sleep apnea could become costly.  Diagnosis, and if necessary, treatment may be well worth the price.

If you are interested in sleep apnea surgery in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.