Expert Interview: Robson Capasso of Stanford University on Sleep Apnea Surgery

This month, I’ve invited Stanford University’s sleep surgeon, Dr. Robson Capasso to talk to us about his institution’s philosophy on sleep apnea surgery. Here’s a short list of questions that are answered on the program:

1. What’s the success rate for sleep apnea surgery?

2. Can you wait until someone is asleep to image the site of obstruction? 

3. What is the progress in getting UARS recognized as a real condition?  How is it diagnosed and managed at Stanford?

4. How do you decide whether to recommend surgery or an oral appliance in a CPAP intolerant patient?  

5. Can you explain the different techniques for performing the MMA, and how successful these are for reversing OSA?  Is it possible to achieve an AHI of zero after an MMA?

6. Do you recommend adult jaw development as an alternative to surgery?

7. Is sleep apnea surgery covered by insurance?

….and many more.

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6 thoughts on “Expert Interview: Robson Capasso of Stanford University on Sleep Apnea Surgery

  1. I’ve seen the one week recovery with a cousin following nose surgery with packing, pain meds, etc. I am concerned that this could be too high a risk for a patient like me. I believe the hypopnea is more central vs local as is the nasal issue. Thank you!

  2. When I sleep the left side of my nose seems to stop up almost completely even if I lay on my right side or even sit up. I believe this is what causes my mild sleep apnea and not my tongue falling back in my throat. I have had two surgeries on my nose to fix the problem and they have not fixed the problem. Do you do any nasal surgeries that definitly open your nose and do you think a stopped up nose when I sleep can be the cause of mild sleep apnea?

  3. Ron,

    Without examining you I can’t say for sure, but in general nasal congestion can aggravate palate or throat collapse downstream. However treating the nose definitively with surgery only cures obstructive sleep apnea in about 10% of cases—this occurs more typically in cases of mild sleep apnea. There are definitive ways of dealing with nasal congestion, but the treatment option has to be customized to the unique individual. Good luck, and looking forward to having you on the call.

  4. Mary,

    I believe that nasal packing can aggravate sleep apnea. This is why I stopped using nasal packing over 10 years ago. I don’t even use splints. Patients breathe much better immediately after the surgery.