Sleep Apnea Treatments

Much like there is not one distinct cause of sleep disorders, there is not one treatment method to reverse the negative symptoms of sleep apnea. At Henry Ford, our specialists have vast experience treating sleep apnea through various treatments and surgery procedures. With your physician, you will be referred to the best option for you.

Non-surgical treatments

Treatment of sleep apnea typically involves using a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), which delivers air pressure through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. In some patients, using a CPAP does not provide relief. In these instances, Inspire therapy might be right for you.

In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Surgical treatments

At Henry Ford, there is a range of surgical treatment options available to help you overcome your sleep apnea. These options include:

  • Drug Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE)

    DISE is a combination of flexible laryngeal endoscopy and an exam under anesthesia. There are several levels in the airway an obstruction can occur, and sedation is used at the beginning of the procedure to diagnose and identify the anatomical site causing the snoring and obstruction. An endoscope is then passed through the nose to diagnose where the obstruction occurs, which allows for its removal.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

    UPPP is performed under general anesthesia to get rid of part of the soft palate and uvula. Sutures are used to reposition the remaining soft palate and prevent obstruction during sleep.

  • Tonsillectomy

    Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can cause obstruction of the throat during sleep. Removal of these features can eliminate sleep apnea in some individuals. This procedure may also be done in conjunction with UPPP.

  • Somnoplasty of the Base of the Tongue

    Radio frequency waves can be used in the base of the tongue to reduce the size. This prevents throat closure caused by the tongue during sleep. This procedure can be done in conjunction with other surgical treatments. Multiple rounds of this procedure may be necessary.

  • TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Lingual Tonsillectomy

    This procedure uses a robot that removes the lingual tonsils at the base of the tongue. Lingual tonsils may be responsible for throat closure during sleep.

  • TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) Partial Epiglottectomy

    Using a robot, portions of the epiglottis can be removed. The epiglottis is located above the larynx (voice box) and moves with swallowing. Sometimes, it can close off the wind pipe when an individual inhales during sleep.