Surgery Options for Sleep Apnea or Snoring

If the in-office procedures don’t prove to be effective or for more severe cases of problematic snoring or sleep apnea, there are many surgical options available.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UVPPP, is a procedure designed to treat sleep apnea and involves the removal of obstructive tissues that may be found in the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids, or pharynx. This allows the loose tissue that affects breathing to tighten, leading to reduction in the obstruction of the upper throat. There is a bit of discomfort for a short period after the surgery, but our patients generally snap back into their lives quickly.
  • Hyoid Suspension is a procedure performed to treat sleep apnea by securing the hyoid bone in front of the larynx. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck which is an attachment point for tongue muscles. This reduction in movement combined with a more strategic placement of the muscles attached to the hyoid bone will reduce a patient’s airway blockage during sleep.

  • Septoplasty is a procedure used to straighten the nasal septum. The nasal septum is the partition between the two nasal cavities, which should ideally run down the center of the nose. Breathing can become obstructed and difficult when the septum deviates into one of the cavities. Dr. Kay will make an incision inside the patient’s nostril and remove any cartilage or bone found to cause a blockage in the area. This is generally a quick and relatively painless surgery with no swelling or discoloration to the external nose or face.

  • Turbinate Reduction is done to increase the amount of air that can flow through your nose when breathing. The turbinates are responsible for helping us breathe, fighting off bacteria and viruses, and preserving our sensitive olfactory (or smell) receptors. However, large or swollen turbinates may make it hard to breathe. By carefully reducing the size of the turbinates, it may be possible to increase airflow sufficiently enough to resolve any sleeping or breathing disorders.
  • Tonsillectomy is the removal of the tonsils. We generally hear about children or young adults having their tonsils removed due to frequent infection, but it can also greatly benefit breathing in cases where the tonsils are simply too large, or frequently become enlarged due to infection. Enlarged tonsils can greatly contribute to sleeping or breathing disorders.

Cancers of the Head and Neck

Any cancer that occurs in the oral cavity (mouth), pharynx (throat), larynx (voicebox), paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, or salivary glands is considered a cancer of the head and neck. However, cancers of the brain, eyes, esophagus, and thyroid, as well as those of the scalp, skin, muscles, and bones of the head and neck, are not usually classified as head and neck cancers.

Some of the causes of head and neck cancers include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol and all types of tobacco use
  • Infection with cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Preserved or salted foods
  • Oral health and hygiene
  • Occulational exposure to wood dust, asbestos or synthetic fibers, metals, or formaldehyde
  • Radiation exposure
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Ancestry

Head and neck cancers account for about 3 percent of all cancers in the United States. They are nearly twice as common in men as they are among women. Head and neck cancers are more often diagnosed in people over age 50, than those who are younger. Treatments for each individual case vary, depending on the location, cause, size, and stage of disease.

Parotid and Facial Tumors

Information on parotid and facial tumors coming soon …

* Credits to the National Cancer Institute for much of this information.