I was just diagnosed with sleep apnea and I am afraid that I will have to get surgery. Right now it is very mild but if it gets worse am I going to need surgery? What are some things that I can do now to stop my sleep apnea from getting to that point?
Doctors Answers (5)
Most patients with obstructive sleep apnea will never need a surgey-I assume you had a sleep test and diagnosed with OBSTRUCTIVE type of sleep apnea. They can be treated with CPAP machine or oral devices. The best approach is to take your sleep study results or get a sleep study and see a sleep doctor, discuss your INDIVIDUAL treatment options and prognosis.
To answer this question, the cause or causes of your sleep apnea must be reviewed: a. if the cause is being overweight with a neck circumference greater than 17 inches, then weight loss is the answer b. if your tonsil/adenoid tissue is enlarged, then removal of these may be needed c. if the tongue muscles relax too much (hypotonicity) and you sleep on your back, then CPAP and/or an oral lower jaw repositioner may be the answer d. if there is too much soft palate/uvula tissue then CPAP and/or surgery may be needed. There is not an easy answer. What can be done depends on what's causing the sleep apnea in the first place.
Even if you have sleep apnea it does not mean that you will need surgery to correct the problem. There are several other treatment options which you should discuss with the physician who interprets your sleep study. Yes. you should undergo a sleep study to find out if you have sleep apnea.
Your question warrants a more reciprocal discussion and we need a little more information in order to answer. I recommend calling a doctor to set up a telephone consultation.
The most common way to avoid surgery is by using CPAP. If you are overweight, weight loss may improve the severity of your sleep apnea. However, sleep apnea left untreated can invite health risks.