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Procedures
Sleep Apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and can have low blood oxygen levels during sleep. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, air flow can be diminished at several locations in the airway.  When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the patient partially awakens, the obstruction in the airway clears, and the flow of air starts again, the result being fragmented and sub-optimal sleep.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation can lead to serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.

Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.

The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer consultation and treatment options.

In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. With cephalometic (skull x-ray) analysis, the doctors can study possible sites of obstruction. Sometimes a naso-pharyngeal exam is done with a flexible fiber-optic camera to gain additional information. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise, decreased oxygenation levels and other physiologic abnormalities, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.

Once a diagnosis has been made, there are several treatment options available. Your surgeon will discuss which treatment is in your best interest.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.

OSA is a very serious condition that needs careful attention and treatment. Most major medical plans offer coverage for diagnosis and treatment.