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What about throat surgery
#1
Hi. I am new to the forum. I have seen a sleep specialist who has suggested throat surgery for me. My throat is very narrow with a lot of hanging down stuff in the back. I have severe apnea (86 per hr.); and I have actually experienced my throat closing during the day when I am in certain positions, but not so often. Last year I saw a sleep specialist and he said the same thing.

I am going to see an ENT surgeon but of course he will recommend surgery because that is what he does. It's not that I don't believe surgeons but my recent experience with health care professionals is that they really want you to have a procedure when it is a "big ticket item". But this kind of surgery is irreversible and I don't want to make the wrong choice.

What do you all have to say? Have any of you had the throat surgery where they remove the stuff hanging down in the back. ( I forget the technical name.) Have you had success with it lowering your apneas?
Thank you for your input.
KimDont-know
Kimberly from HonoluluSleep-well
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#2
Hi Kim, welcome to the forum.

I haven't had throat surgery, but have read a fair bit about it - the consensus seems to be that it is very painful and not always fully effective. Given the option of going on the hose or going under the knife, I know which I would choose. Are you considering this step because your bipap machine isn't doing the job? If it was me, I'd give the machine every chance before considering surgery.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
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Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
one of my best friends is an ENT, he has done many and told me flat out, DO NOT GET IT DONE, its not going to make much if any difference in the sleep apnea. it might drop you a hair in pressure at best
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#4
I've had the throat surgery, due to need, and it did lower my required pressure somewhat. I had it done many years ago so I assume it is different today.

If you can be comfortable and well treated on CPAP only, I would politely suggest *not* doing the surgery. If after some six months or so on your CPAP, you find that either your comfort level or treatment is not good enough, then I'd do the surgery - despite what you may be told, very few get off their CPAP by doing the surgery. However, it *can* lower the required pressure (increasing both your comfort and successful treatment) - but I'd rather get another knee replaced than have the throat surgery - that's me,and I am bout 8 weeks post-op on my second knee.
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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#5
If your anatomy is "normal" then surgery to correct sleep apnea, as an alternative to CPAP therapy, is very questionable.

On the other hand, if your anatomy is such that surgery is an effective treatment, then that is another issue.

If I were you I would ask about the probability of you having permanent difficulty swallowing after the surgery. Be sure that CPAP therapy is not a viable alternative to the surgery. It could be that both the surgery and CPAP therapy are the best way to go for you.

Be vigilant and please keep us posted.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
I just met with the surgeon who did my septoplasty 5 years ago and said he only does one type of throat surgery and said it wouldn't get me off cpap reccomended I don't get any other surgery. The septo I had done helped me take cpap therapy. If the doctor you seek advice from says in your case it would be 80% chance of helping I don't blame you for considering it. For me it didn't make sense. From what I've read for MOST it doesn't make sense based on results over the past ten years...this was confirmed by my surgeon...
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#7
(09-07-2014, 04:29 PM)bigfrank63 Wrote: I just met with the surgeon who did my septoplasty 5 years ago and said he only does one type of throat surgery and said it wouldn't get me off cpap reccomended I don't get any other surgery. The septo I had done helped me take cpap therapy. If the doctor you seek advice from says in your case it would be 80% chance of helping I don't blame you for considering it. For me it didn't make sense. From what I've read for MOST it doesn't make sense based on results over the past ten years...this was confirmed by my surgeon...
Hi bigfrank63,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Best of luck to you as you continue CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#8
"Apnea" surgery has a risk of a lot of unpleasant, long term side effects, especially UPPP surgery. Google UPPP for horror stories.

The rate of curing apnea is low. Surgeons may call it a success if they reduce your AHI number 50%, but you may still need CPAP.

You may also redevelop apnea later in life. The surgery may interfere with CPAP.

Surgery is forever. CPAP can be stopped or adjusted if it doesn't work.

If you have some clear, limited, throat obstruction like bad tonsils or a deviated septum, it might be worth surgery, but I think many surgeons are chop happy with delusions of grandeur and visions of dollars dancing in their heads.

I'm hopeful they'll develop some sort good apnea surgery in the future. I'm afraid if you've already been operated on, the future surgery might not work.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#9
I have had several surgeries - pretty much the entire menu, except I did not have the jaw extension. The recovery is incredibly painful. The surgeries did not cure my OSA and reduced my CPAP pressure by about 4 cm (but that was more likely due to the septoplasty than the throat surgery). I would not do the throat surgery again (I would do the septoplasty again to repair my deviated septum).
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