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Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder where a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.  If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious consequences due to a lack of oxygen to the brain and body. Sleep apnea has a broad range of solutions from simple lifestyle changes to surgery.

Sleep Apnea Surgery

The gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea continues to be CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Our doctors work closely with pulmonologists and sleep medicine doctors to ensure that patients have tried multiple different types of masks. However, some patients continue to have problems tolerating CPAP. For those patients there are various surgical options that are available. The surgery has to be tailored to the patient’s individual needs and anatomy.

Nasal Surgery:  A deviated septum, hypertrophic turbinates, or very large nasal polyps can all be a factor in your nasal breathing.  However, nasal surgery alone will not cure sleep apnea. However, they have been shown to reduce the necessary CPAP pressure and improve compliance.

Tonsillectomy/UP3:  Patient with large tonsils and a small tongue may benefit from having the tonsils removed, or performing a more involved surgery called a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UP3) to enlarge the upper airway and try to prevent collapse.

Tongue Surgery:  Patient’s with large tongues may benefit from a procedure to remove the lingual tonsil tissue or the base of the tongue in an attempt to limit the collapse in this area.

Multilevel  Airway Surgery:  Some of these above procedures can be combined to address collapse of tissue at multiple levels.

Inspire ® Upper Airway Stimulator:  Dr McLaughlin is one of a handful of doctors in Miami-Dade County and the only doctor in Broward County who is performing the Inspire ®, upper airway stimulator for patients with sleep apnea who can not tolerate CPAP.  It is a nerve stimulator that prevents collapse of tissue at both the palate and the tongue.


Tips For A Quicker Recovery

  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Clean wounds as instructed by your physician
  • Take prescribed medication as instructed by your physician
  • Get plenty of rest during first few days of recovery

Lifestyle Changes

For many cases, lifestyle changes are often the best solution for mild cases of sleep apnea.  The most beneficial changes include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Sleeping on one side
  • Exercise
  • Avoid alcohol or medication that relaxes the throat
  • Weight loss

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