DETROIT Patients with obstructive sleep apnea who undergo surgery to improve their breathing get a better night's sleep and therefore are less drowsy during the day, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
The study finds surgery greatly reduces daytime sleepiness a common side effect from this disorder in which the upper airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep when compared to other non-surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea.
"This study validates what patients have told us regarding their improved alertness after surgery," says study author Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.
Results from the study will be presented Jan. 29 at the Triological Society's Combined Sections Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) affects an estimated 2 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the U.S., putting them at an increased risk for hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, stroke and death.
This sleep disorder occurs due to the collapse of the airway in the throat during sleep.
The blocked airway causes loud snoring and periodic pauses in breathing, sometimes hundreds of times a night. This can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, and as a result decreased quality of life and an increased risk for injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
The treatment of choice for has been continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy during sleep, which uses a machine to increases air pressure in the throat to prevent the airway from collapsing. But it isn't the only treatment option.
Several surgical interventions are available to help patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Some surgical approaches work to open up the airway by removing excess tissue in the back of the throat, removing the tonsils or using radiofrequency wa
|Contact: Krista Hopson|
Henry Ford Health System