What are the surgical options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Paul T. Hoff, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
There are many surgical options for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including surgery on the nose which may improve continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) tolerance or even resolve mild OSA. Surgery on the soft tissue of the mouth and throat include palate surgery, tonsillectomy and tongue surgery. Surgery on the tongue is often performed minimally invasively using the da Vinci robot. In some cases, people with OSA may have an underdeveloped jaw that can be corrected with either an oral appliance or surgery.

An implanted device, the Inspire hypoglossal nerve stimulator, can be used to provide low-level stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve that counteracts obstruction of airway due to relaxation of the tongue musculature during sleep. Data from the Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction (STAR) trial and three-year outcomes show resolution of snoring and compliance with therapy at well over 80%.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.