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Nasal Airway Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

March 7th, 2011

I was just diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and my doctor says that he wants to do surgery on both my palate and nasal airway. He says that my nasal airway is barely open and not getting any oxygen in it when I try to breathe (mouth breather). I don’t want the surgery, so he says that he’ll only let me try the CPAP for one night at the hospital but that if it doesn’t work, he’ll do the surgery anyway. Has anyone here had nasal surgery? Is it done awake/asleep? Does it hurt? Does it work? I’m really scared about it but all Doc tells me is not to worry. Easy for him to say.

It all depends on the reason for the nasal surgery. Some people do have a deviated septum or other major reasons for nasal blockage. In some cases the nasal airway blockage will actually make using cpap more difficult due to nasal congestion and such. On the other hand the palate surgery is not always the best option. This is not an absolute cure for OSA. Almost all patients who have the surgery wind up on Cpap anyways. The success rate is very poor and it almost never works. Also very painful. An ENT is generally going to want to perform the surgery. I agree with the person who says you should see a board certified sleep specialist on this matter. He may give you a different outlook on your situation. Good luck in whatever your outcome may be.

5 Responses

  1. o_x_y_j_e_n Says:

    I havent had the surgery, but I do work in a hospital and have see folks who have….

    It doesnt hurt, you wont know it… they will ‘knock you out’ and you wont feel a thing. You will most likely experience some uncomfortableness. My ex boyfriend had it done and as I recall, the pain wasnt intolerable and life went back to usual the next day. Not sure about the eating side of it, buy hey, good to catch up on your ice cream or popsicle fetish… ;o)

    Best wishes!
    References :

  2. TweetyBird Says:

    First off, the doctor cannot perform surgery unless you give written consent. Period. You have the right to refuse treatment. Period.

    Question #1: I have no idea what procedures your surgeon has discussed with you. You haven’t stated this. And no I have never had any type of nasal surgery but I used to work Head & Neck surgery, so I know what I’m talking about.

    Question #2: Any type of procedure of this nature would be done under general anesthesia.

    Question #3: See Question #2. It hurts afterward.

    I’m just guessing but the palate surgery may be palatoplasty and the nasal surgery may be a turbinate reduction. Can you confirm or correct this? E-mail me and I’ll walk you through the whole thing.
    References :
    I’m a nurse.

  3. siamsa_siamsa Says:

    I have the same problem however I choose to use the CPAP versus the surgery. I have had friends who have had the surgery and they are no better off than beforehand. I have been using the CPAP machine since December ’06 and have felt better ever since. It is a bit uncomfortable at first but you do get used to it after a couple of weeks. Now I won’t go to sleep without my machine. Best of luck to you!
    References :

  4. yourmtgbanker Says:

    I would switch doctors. I find it highly unethical to tell you he will only permit you to try the CPAP for one night. Anyone that has used a CPAP machine will tell you that it takes a long time to get used to it and to feel the benefits. The first time I tried it I hated it. But, I now use it and while I don’t particulary like it I find it is just beginning to work. I have spoke to people that have had the surgery and they have told me that it is painful. It is painful in the recovery period. The surgery is also not guaranteed and does not have a high % rate of complete success. I would get a second opinion from a board certified sleep physician. Good Luck!
    References :

  5. Just me Says:

    It all depends on the reason for the nasal surgery. Some people do have a deviated septum or other major reasons for nasal blockage. In some cases the nasal airway blockage will actually make using cpap more difficult due to nasal congestion and such. On the other hand the palate surgery is not always the best option. This is not an absolute cure for OSA. Almost all patients who have the surgery wind up on Cpap anyways. The success rate is very poor and it almost never works. Also very painful. An ENT is generally going to want to perform the surgery. I agree with the person who says you should see a board certified sleep specialist on this matter. He may give you a different outlook on your situation. Good luck in whatever your outcome may be.
    References :
    Sleep Technician

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