Sleep Apnea Surgery

The Sleep Surgery program at the University of Arizona Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery is dedicated to helping people who suffer from debilitating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), in which the breathing passages of the nose and throat repeatedly constrict and narrow, interrupting the normal oxygen supply. 

People who suffer from this condition typically rouse repeatedly during the night to re-open air passages, and often have no memory of the repeated wakings. Research indicates that OSA may be one of the most widespread chronic conditions in the Unites States and that 80 percent of those cases or more go untreated. 

While minor cases of sleep apnea may simply interfere with quality of life—causing those who suffer from it to feel fatigued or unrested, even after a "full" night of sleep—more serious cases are strongly associated with risks of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A diagnosis of OSA must be obtained through sleep studies—which measure a number of physiological and neurological markers during sleep—though often a bed partner alone can attest to a disruptive apnea and snoring.

Patients diagnosed with OSA may have a number of non-surgical treatment options. Surgical treatments are typically reserved for this who have not had success with other treatments and focus on enlarging and stabilizing airways in the nose, palate, tongue area or some combination of the three (often patients with more serious OSA suffer from narrowing and collapse in more than one area of the respiratory pathway).

For patients who are candidates for surgical treatment, the UA Sleep Surgery program can undertake a number of nasal, palatal and tongue surgeries, as well as other surgical treatments such as tracheostomy and more. 

With access to the most current research and most advanced technologies, our goal is to ensure that all patients suffering from OSA are fully informed of their surgical and non-surgical options and fully supported in finding the treatment plans best suited to their conditions, lifestyles and needs.