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Sleep Apnea Treatment

Man snoring in bed while woman covering her earsSleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders in the United States. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with roughly 80% of these cases undiagnosed. This is particularly unsettling because sleep apnea can be a serious and potentially life-threatening disorder.

At Happy Ohana Smiles, we can help properly diagnose your sleep apnea using the latest diagnostic technology. As an oral and maxillofacial surgical facility, our treatments are typically reserved for moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea. In some instances, surgical intervention may be the only way to address persistent symptoms.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is characterized by the repeated cessation of breathing during sleep. This can occur as little as five times per hour, and up to hundreds of times a night. Ultimately, this disorder prevents your brain and your body from receiving the proper amount of oxygen, briefly rousing you from sleep.

The three main types of sleep apnea are:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

This is the most common form of the disorder that occurs when the throat muscles relax and restrict your airway.

Central sleep apnea (CSA).

This form of the disorder occurs when your brain does not send the appropriate autonomic signals to the muscles that control your breathing.

Complex sleep apnea.

This form of the disorder, also known as treatment-emergent sleep apnea, occurs when OSA becomes CSA, usually due to the use of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Risk factors for OSA and CSA include, but are not limited to:

Excess weight.

Fat deposits around the neck and upper airway can restrict your breathing when sleeping on your back.

A narrow airway.

Enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, and a narrow throat can also block the airway.


Obstructive and central sleep apnea are most common in older patients. Men are also two to three times more likely to develop the disorder.


A family history of sleep apnea can increase your risk.

Alcohol, smoking, and medications.

These substances can relax the muscles, increase inflammation, and depress your respiratory system.

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

During your consultation, Dr. Zamora will discuss the possible causes of your sleep apnea, and determine the severity of your disorder. Most of our patients have already received a diagnosis of sleep apnea before they arrive at our surgical facility. Surgical intervention is typically the last line of defense after other treatment options have been exhausted.

Surgical Options for Sleep Apnea

There are a wide variety of surgical options that address the symptoms of sleep apnea. Some of these options include:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).

One of the most common sleep apnea surgeries that involves removing excess tissue from the pharynx and soft palate.

Nasal surgery.

This type of surgery addresses nasal obstruction or congestion by creating more room in the nose.

Soft palate implants.

Also known as the Pillar Procedure, this surgery involves the placement of three polyester rods into the soft palate to stiffen the area and prevent contact with the pharynx.

Hyoid advancement.

This surgery addresses the small bone in the neck (the hyoid) to expand the airway and prevent collapse.

Tongue advancement.

This type of surgery helps keep the tongue from falling backward into the throat during sleep.

Lower jaw advancement.

This surgery helps us move the lower jaw forward and enlarge the entire upper airway.


This surgery allows us to create an additional passageway for air to get to the lungs directly from the trachea.

Schedule An Appointment

If other treatments have failed to alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms, you may need surgical intervention. Call 210-399-0825 to schedule your consultation appointment today!
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