Treatment for Sleep Apnea
PAP (Positive Airway Pressure)
PAP is the most common treatment for Sleep Apnea. PAP is extremely beneficial to your future health without having to have surgery. Those who wear the mask on a regular basis will notice a large difference in their daytime performance. It works by having a flow of air create a pressure in the back of your throat and mouth to hold open the soft tissues that are falling back and closing your airway.
There are dental devices that fit in your mouth much like a mouth guard, but the device pulls your lower jaw forward not allowing tissue to block the airway. The device locks in place and slowly moves the jaw forward over a period of 4-8 weeks to allow your muscles and ligaments to adapt to the device. This treatment does not suit everyone and should be discussed with a Sleep Medicine Physician or a Dentist certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine.
Previous surgical options for treating sleep apnea involved creating a large opening in the neck and jaw – and sometimes the need to break the jawbone. Recovery time was often lengthy.
The use of da Vinci robot-assisted surgery for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is revolutionary due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. With amazing dexterity and precision, the surgeon guides the robotic arms in through the patient’s mouth rather than through the neck. The high-definition camera allows the surgeon to perfectly visualize areas of the mouth and throat that in the past could only be seen through open incisions.
Dr. Mark A. D’Agostino is one of only a handful of surgeons in the world who use da Vinci to perform the TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) procedure for the treatment of sleep apnea using the da Vinci robot.
The surgery is primarily for patients whose sleep apnea is due to having tongue-based obstruction because it focuses on reducing the size of the base of the tongue.
There are several other options offered some of which you may have seen on TV or local drug stores. These options only work in certain situations and should be discussed with a Sleep Medicine Physician.