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My Sleep Apnea Journey - Surgery and Results
#1
Hello Everyone,
 
I scanned the internet in many places to help decide if I should have the “sleep apnea” surgery done. By in large, the reviews were mostly negative but I decided to do it anyways. I will likely not be checking this post for updates, so please do not be offended if your follow up questions go unanswered.
 
In April 2016, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea at the age of 34. I am male, about 6’4” and was around 255lbs, 18 inch neck, broad shouldered, former athlete who now has a mid sized gut. at the time of my first sleep study. I am not going to record all of the metrics, however my AHI score was a 55. 

My second test, or the titration study, did not go well. I slept for maybe a half an hour using a bi pap machine. I did not tolerate the machine well. However, I decided I would purchase the machine anyways in hopes that I would eventually acclimate. I tried for several months to no avail. I believe the longest I was able to wear the mask in any one night was about 2.5 hours. Normally, I would be around an hour and fifteen minutes. Needless to say, after several months, I decided to start looking at surgical options.

In November, I decided to go the modified UPPP route. I did a lot of research and settled on a well-respected ENT in my area. We decided to proceeded by completely addressing the airways and the ENT preformed the following procedures; Removal of both sets of tonsils, removal the uvula, base of tongue coblation, turbinate reduction, and a septoplasty.

By the time the surgery came around (January 9th) I had gained a lot of weight. Later, I would learn (from an endocrinologist) that it is very difficult to lose weight with sleep apnea, but I will leave that conversation for another time. I had gained about another 20 pounds, I suspect because I mainly laid in bed after work until the time I got up again the next day. The apnea had gotten bad enough that I was essentially unable to function at normal levels.

As a side note, I have seen several postings across the internet related to sleep apnea and attendance at work. To directly answer FMLA and Disability questions; Yes I was able to qualify for both. I opted with disability (thru my work) and was covered for 3 days off a week up until the surgery time. I CANNOT blanketly say you will be eligible since there was a lot of paperwork that seemed that there can be a large variance from individual. If you are unable to function at normal levels, and feel that you may qualify for either paid or unpaid leave, I would suggest you have the conversation with one of your physicians.

Anyways, as I previously mentioned, I had the surgery on Jan 9th. I spent about 36 hours in ICU after the surgery, I would highly recommend this if your insurance allows. I think it made a big difference in my overall recovery. There were no specific complications.  I won’t go into day to day details since you can easily find that perspective on the internet with a little research. I would recommend searching youtube for in depth information. That said, Yes the surgery was painful. No it was not totally unbearable ( I was on liquid oxycontin for about 2 weeks which helped a lot). I could not really eat much, if anything. Drinking water was difficult for the first 8 days or so. I was able to start eating “real” foods again around day 12. This part wont be fun, but you will get thru it.
 
I did my follow up sleep study a week ago today, and received the results today. My current weight is about 245. I lost about 17 pounds from the surgery and have been losing weight ever since. My AHI went from a 55 to 12. For me, the surgery was worth it. Obviously, the results of these surgery’s will vary. There are instances of some people not benefiting at all. However, I am very happy that I chose the surgical route and would definitely do it again.
I hope this helps someone out there.
 
Thanks,
Brian
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#2
I would avoid the surgical route at all costs and only if all other options failed.
I have a co-worker who had surgery done and the doctor botched it big time.
After two more surgeries to correct the problems the women can no longer talk with her original normal voice.
They messed her up big time.  If you have surgery you need to do research on the Doctor and make sure they have experience doing it and a solid track record.
Don't just trust someone because they are a doctor.
My co-worker is now dealing with a lawyer who claims he will get her a large insurance settlement.
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#3
"Don't just trust someone because they are a doctor.

My co-worker is now dealing with a lawyer who claims he will get her a large insurance settlement."

No Thank You I just want to feel ok

Sleep-well

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#4
I suppose the the risk of a bad day is one takes in having any surgery. Again, 55 AHI to a 12 AHI for me with no side effects or unwanted results. Basically the same person I was. Hard to argue with those results.
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#5
Hi BrianNKY,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
trish6hundred
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