In a new study, researchers found a simple yet effective surgery can be an option for specialists around the world for managing difficult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) cases.
After a rigorous evaluation of the surgery, they found excellent outcomes in sleep apnea patients who had been unable to use continuous positive pressure airway (CPAP) treatment.
These patients achieved relief from snoring and disrupted sleep and experienced improved general health.
The research was conducted by a team at Flinders University.
Almost 1 billion people are estimated to have OSA globally, with the main treatment CPAP tolerated by only half of those who try it.
Almost 30% of people with OSA wake up very easily with light sleep and other problems caused by minor airway narrowing.
The multi-level surgical technique combining a new version of palate surgery with a low-risk tongue procedure to create an improved airway resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of night-time apnea events and improvements in daytime sleepiness and quality of life.
After removing any tonsils, the palate is repositioned and the tongue treated to open up the airway and reduce obstruction.
The team says the surgery offers promise to millions of people around the world who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea but cannot adapt to using a CPAP mask or similar device each night.
One author of the study is Emeritus Professor Doug McEvoy.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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