When tissues in your nose, mouth, and/or throat block your airway during sleep, it can cause you to stop breathing momentarily. This is called obstructive sleep apnea (one of two types of sleep apnea). Many people with sleep apnea also snore when those tissues vibrate during sleep.
If obstructive sleep apnea or snoring are still affecting your sleep despite trying nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be your next step. To ensure you experience the best-possible outcomes, our specialized head and neck surgeons carefully consider your unique anatomy and condition severity before recommending a specific type of sleep apnea or snoring surgery.
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About Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring
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Surgery can help people with obstructive sleep apnea and/or snoring who can't tolerate or haven't benefited sufficiently from conservative options like positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP or BiPAP) and oral devices.
Some insurance providers require that additional conditions be present before covering sleep apnea surgery. Check with your insurance provider to clarify.
A surgeon will perform a physical exam and discuss your symptoms, sleep study results, and your experience with nonsurgical treatments. Your doctor may insert an endoscope -- a flexible tube with a camera on the end -- through your nose and into your throat to evaluate your airway. This helps determine the location and severity of your blockage and which surgical approach may be most effective.
Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy
Your doctor may recommend a drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE). This short outpatient procedure is performed in an operating room. While you are under general anesthesia, a surgeon uses an endoscope to evaluate your airway while you are in a sleep-like state.
Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.
Why Choose Duke
Tailored Approach Leads to Success
Our fellowship-trained sleep surgeon and specialized head and neck surgeons take a stepwise approach to sleep apnea and snoring treatment, carefully weighing the benefits and risks of surgery. We take time to choose the right procedure for each person to achieve the best outcomes.
Network of Related Specialists
Our head and neck surgeons work closely with other specialists who are trained to treat issues related to sleep apnea and snoring. This includes sleep specialists, dentists, lifestyle and weight management specialists, bariatric and orthognathic surgeons, and more. That means you can expect comprehensive, efficient care.