Modified surgical procedure appears effective for OSA

Sunday, February 22, 2004

February 23, 2004

TAIWAN - A new, less invasive throat surgery appears to be more effective than traditional procedures used to treat sleep apnea, Taiwanese researchers reported on Monday.

While the study involved only 55 patients, findings showed an 82% success rate for the new procedure, compared to the historical rate of less than 50% found with earlier, more invasive surgeries, said the report from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei.

The modified surgery technique, called extended uvulopalatal flap surgery, removes fatty tissues, soft glands and the tonsils to increase airway space but spares muscle tissue.

Patients for whom the limited surgery worked reported they snored less, were less sleepy during the day and had higher blood oxygen levels. The report did not explain why the limited technique worked better.