February 01, 2011

The Doctors TV Show Does Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The Doctors TV show at some point in the past (not sure when), did a segment on surgery used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The surgery portrayed was UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). Dr. Brian Weeks, the featured otolaryngologist, removed the tonsils and uvula followed by suturing the cut mucosa to reposition the soft tissues of the patient's throat.

This operation is a basic surgical method addressing obstructive sleep apnea. However, prior to considering surgical treatment, I typically recommend trial of CPAP for 3 months.

Some things to keep in mind is that obstructive sleep apnea is often due to multiple levels of obstruction. UPPP only addresses mouth-level problems. Other sleep apnea surgery options need to be considered when obstruction exists at other levels including the back of tongue (below the mouth level). Base of tongue reduction helps in this situation.

Watch the video of the TV show here. Watch the video our office produced on this surgery here.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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