A small proportion of people with sleep apnea or snoring complaints are eligible for surgery to remedy sleep apnea or snoring. Your specialist determines this on the basis of the physical examination, during the clinic consultation and the sleep examination.
There are different operations. However, we carry out a number of these under local anesthesia in our own branches in Amsterdam, The Hague and Hilversum. That is why you can go home after the procedure.
Operations that require anesthesia are performed by our own specialists in other hospitals. However, for an operation you will of course receive detailed information about the procedure and where it can take place.
Most operations for sleep apnea and snoring are aimed at widening the upper airway at the point where a narrowing or blockage occurs. The upper airway consists of the nose, mouth and throat. That is why a distinction can be made between a blocked airway and the collapse of the airway.
Blockage of the airway
A blocked airway in the nose ensures that the mouth often has to be opened to allow enough breathing. This open sagging of the mouth narrows the throat, causing obstruction and snoring. An ENT operation such as the straightening of the nasal septum, the reduction of the mucous membrane in the nose and the removal of nasal polyps can improve this.
In children, enlarged nose and throat tonsils often cause strong snoring and sleep apnea. For example, a simple operation, whereby the nose and / or throat tonsils are removed, can offer a solution. However, enlarged throat tonsils sometimes occur in adults and surgery is often very effective here too.
With snoring and sleep apnea there is often insufficient space behind the heel and the soft palate when breathing through the nose. That is why we perform another operation in the case of sleep apnea. Where the palate is raised slightly with a special bonding technique. This often takes place in combination with the removal of the throat tonsils. However, only to reduce snoring. We perform a lighter variant of the operation. This procedure takes place under local anesthesia in our own clinics.
Less common operations involve placing the tongue bone forward or even the lower and upper jaw. In this way the airway is made wider.
A new unique form of surgery is through nerve stimulation with a kind of implanted pacemaker (Inspire). An electrode is then placed between the ribs that detects the moment of inhalation and exhalation. By means of an electrode which is connected to the tongue nerve, a pulse is then given to the tongue muscle via the nerve at the end of the exhalation. This makes the tongue stick out more. The airway then pulls open and prevents breathing stops. However, a higher muscle tension of the throat muscles in this therapy makes the throat collapse less easily. However, this operation is unique in the Netherlands and our specialist dokter Copper carries it out.
It may sometimes be necessary to perform a so-called sleep scan in the operating room with strong sleep medication to see the nature and severity of the upper airway obstruction. In this way we make the best treatment proposal.