A recent study led by Kenny P. Pang, M.D. at the Pacific Sleep Centre in Singapore set out to determine the complication rate of multilevel surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These procedures involve nasal, palate and tongue surgery in efforts to treat OSA. After analyzing data from 487 patients and a total of 1,698 multilevel surgical procedures, it was found that the overall complication rate was 7.1 percent. Out of the patients, one suffered from upper airway obstruction after surgery; while six others suffered from postoperative oxygen desaturation. Fifteen of the patients suffered a secondary hemorrhage and the same number suffered from persistent hypertension; two had negative pressure pulmonary edema, and nine suffered from tongue edema.
The Problem with Surgery
The most invasive method for treating sleep apnea, surgery is fraught with potential complications. Surgery may not only require another surgery, it also leads to a painful recovery; and in some cases, the development of scar tissue can make surgery a complete waste of time.
While surgery is successful in some patients; for others, it may simply be the catalyst for even more postoperative health issues. Fortunately, there are plenty of other alternative treatments that are suitable to use when treating sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is a great treatment that works very effectively in many patients.