What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 18 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea and 16 million remain undiagnosed. OSA is associated with higher risks for hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, impotence, mortality, and behavior and cognitive problems. Sleep apnea may be responsible for many job-related injuries and it is estimated that people with sleep apnea are 10 times more likely to die in a car accident than someone without sleep apnea.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances have become a sound method for eliminating upper airway obstruction in a large percentage of patients. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has published a new practice parameter paper that validates the importance of the use of oral appliances in the treatment of OSA. Oral appliances have been shown to be effective in about half of patients with mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea, and have also been shown to be less effective than Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.
Many surgical approaches have been tried in an attempt to “cure” obstructive sleep apnea including tracheostomy, UPPP, LAUP, septoplasty, orthognathic surgery, radiofrequency “Somnoplasty” or “Coblation,” and palatal implants. However, the only procedure that has been shown to permanently improve OSA is “Telegnathic,” or jaw advancement surgery.
Using Cone Beam CT (CBCT) scans we can now show 3-dimensional proof of how Telegnathic surgery increases the size of the nasal and oral airway. Multiple studies have now shown that Telegnathic surgery to enlarge the upper airway may be the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Basically, Telegnathic surgery is upper and lower jaw advancement surgery that enlarges the upper airway. This differs from Orthognathic surgery, which is performed to correct dentofacial deformities.
Telegnathic surgery may be right for you if you do not obtain adequate results, or are unable to tolerate oral appliances or CPAP machines.
What Are Your Options?
Dr. Stastny can work with other healthcare professionals who are trained to treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea. He will help you find out what treatment will be best for you, and if surgery is needed he will help guide you through the surgical process.
For more information about Obstructive Sleep Apnea, please click the following link: http://myoms.org/procedures/obstructive-sleep-apnea
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