Benefits from upper airway surgery for sleep apnea found to equal CPAP

August 1, 2009

Adults who struggle with CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should be considered candidates for reconstructive surgery on the upper airway, because it holds the same quality-of-life (QOL) benefits but with more permanence. This thesis is in new research published in the August 2009 edition of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a highly effective means for treating obstructive , but because it involves a mask and set of hoses, it can be frustrating and uncomfortable for some patients, and compliance may be short-lived.

The Australian authors of the study discovered that among moderate-to-severe OSA-suffering patients, those treated through upper airway experienced the same level of long-term quality-of-life improvement as their peers who were treated with CPAP therapy. Among the QOL benefits were improvements in snoring, sleepiness, and neurocognitive impairment. In contrast, those patients who were prescribed, but did not adequately use CPAP, had minimal QOL improvement.

The upper airway includes nose and throat (pharyngeal) areas, particularly behind the soft palate and tongue. to treat sleep apnea involves clearing any blockages in those areas that might be hindering breathing.

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery

Explore further: Journal Sleep: Longer CPAP use at night can normalize one's daytime functioning

Related Stories

Procedure helps to eliminate sleep apnea

October 24, 2007

A procedure known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) may help some patients improve or even eliminate their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a new study. The research, presented at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Aug 19, 2009
I wish they'd said a bit more about what's involved with the surgery. As a CPAP user I might like to present this as a possibility to my physician, but until I know more I don't think I will.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.