Podcast 12: 7 Good Reasons to Consider Surgery for Your Sleep Apnea

There comes a time when you have to say, “enough is enough.” You’ve gone through 3 different masks, CPAP, APAP and 2 dental appliances. You also tried chin straps to keep your mouth closed along with your oral appliance and CPAP, all together. Some of you can’t even keep CPAP on for more than one hour. And there are some of you that are able to use CPAP for 8 hours straight for 3 months and your machine is telling you that your AHI level is 0.1, but you still feel terrible. You’ve also tried every trouble shooting step mentioned on every sleep apnea support site. At a certain point, you have to consider the possibility of undergoing surgery.

Granted not everyone who struggles with CPAP has tried all this, but many of you have already gone through many, if not most of the above steps. Some people will be better candidates for surgery than others. 

In this podcast, Kathy and I will go over the 7 good reasons why you may want to consider surgery for your obstructive sleep apnea.

Download mp3 file.

Here’s a quick summary along with the resources and links mentioned in the podcast:

1. CPAP is not working
      Podcast on troubleshooting CPAP problems (Podcast #9)
2. Oral appliance is not helping
      Podcast #59 on oral appliances
3. You have a stuffy nose
      E-book on how to unstuffy your stuffy nose
4. You have large tonsils or adenoids
5. Previous surgery didn’t work
6. If you can’t breathe out through your nose or feel a flap close suddenly during inhalation
7. You’ve tried everything.
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3 thoughts on “Podcast 12: 7 Good Reasons to Consider Surgery for Your Sleep Apnea

  1. Like your favorite college professor, Dr. Park takes you on an engaging tour regarding the etiology and possible solutions for the various types of apnea. The presentations are clear, concise, caring, intelligent, wise, objective, and based on Dr. Park’s considerable experience. These podcasts are a joy and a blessing to listen to, and as well conceived as a TED talk. (I think apnea-in its various forms- is just coming to be recognized as the pervasive sleep destroyer that it is, and would benefit from an actual TED talk by Dr. Park to address the wider audience that may unknowingly be affected)

    (These podcasts are definitely NOT the typical hype of Chiropractic “miracle” solutions designated to sell you on something.)

    I (AHP 57) have had the UPPP surgery, CPAP, Bi-Pap, chin strap, variety of masks, and still trying to make my way. Dr. Park has given the clearest explication of all the variables to be considered.

    Key points i’ve personally discovered and learned so far.
    *Don’t let Medicare make choices for you-they base decisions on what’s cheapest
    for instance they don’t call for a heated hose or BiPap thus subjecting you to the greater possibility of nasal infections
    *Don’t choose UPPP immediately-it only works 30% of time (didn’t work for me)
    *Sleep Studies are crazily expensive and put you in positions (on your back) to maximize apnea. The SLEEP ENDOSCOPY that Dr. Park recommends on this podcast, and which I had not heard of before, seems to address the physiology of what’s really going on, and should IMHO be the first choice before a sleep study or decision to have an operation.
    *Bi-Pap allows easier exhale: be sure to get humidifier & heated hose
    *The world of apnea science is relatively new, choose your practitioners wisely.
    *Palate vs epiglottis closure: what causes obstruction-self evaluation
    BEST OF HEALTH to you

  2. There’s another reason… the one I’m suffering from but that NO ONE talks about. Constant mucus in the back of the throat. It’s kind of up in the higher nose/sinus area and it blocks my airways when I sleep. I assume I have a recessed chin and narrow airways… but its only just started in the last year or so… and nothing seems to help because nothing will stop the mucus. It’s they’re during the day too, 24 7, but in the day I can ‘hawk’ it up, during sleep I can’t.

  3. My reasons are different. I tolerate CPAP well but I’m young and MMA surgery is low risk for me now but it won’t be when I’m older. It’s possible I may stop tolerating CPAP at some point or develop problems from it. I imagine it would be difficult to do chemo with CPAP, given nausea for example, or from rising pressures needed with age. Sleep study shows there’s still residual respiratory arousals even though there’s no registered apnea or hypopnea. And I happen to need to fix my bite anyway.