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Jefferson specialists studying innovative surgery for effectively treating sleep apnea
Date:8/28/2007

s more common in men, although it may be under-diagnosed in women. It is estimated that as many as 12 million Americans have sleep apnea.

Early recognition and treatment of sleep apnea is important, as it may be associated with:

  • irregular heartbeat

  • high blood pressure

  • heart attack

  • stroke

In the GBAT procedure, a small window is made in the lower jaw and advanced forward, said Dr. Boon. Because the tongue is attached to this portion of the jaw, it effectively moves the tongue forward to open the airway.

In this procedure, the surgeon is able to go through the inside of the mouth, avoiding the need to make any external incisions and avoiding any cosmetic changes. The procedure is usually done in conjunction with an uvulopalatopharyngoplasty-- surgery used to remove excess tissue at the back of the throat (tonsils, uvula, and part of the soft palate).

The piece of bone along with the attachment for the tongue is pulled forward and down, then fastened to the outside of the lower jaw. A small titanium plate is used to affix the bone.

The patient may experience soreness but will not have any change in dental occlusion (the way the teeth fit together), said Dr. Boon. The recovery period is usually about two weeks.

Three to six months after the procedure, follow-up sleep tests are performed.


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Contact: Jeff Baxt
jeffrey.baxt@jefferson.edu
215-955-5507
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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