The primary benefit of sleep apnea surgery is the stabilization and enlargement of space within the affected part of the respiratory system, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology. For example, operating on the nose alleviates structural problems such as a deviated septum.
Nasal congestion is a significant problem for sufferers of sleep apnea, states the American Academy of Otolaryngology. It causes many of the nonsurgical treatments for sleep apnea, such as oral appliances or a CPAP, to fail. Surgery can realign a deviated septum or shrink swollen tissues on both sides of the nose, depending on the needs of the patient.
Some patients suffering from sleep apnea experience a narrowing and collapse of the airway around the soft palate, uvula and tonsils, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. A variety of surgical procedures exists to correct the collapse and provide stability and expanded volume to the airway near the top of the throat. When tonsils and adenoids are the driving factor behind sleep apnea, generally in children, a simple tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can resolve the sleep apnea issues. The lower throat can also undergo some airway collapse, primarily due to an abnormally large tongue base. Procedures can shrink the tongue base or push it forward, clearing the airway.