Dr. Mansfield shares if surgery for sleep apnea is divided into stages.
Absolutely. We generally will divide sleep apnea surgery into phases. One, to make it easy for the patient to understand the surgery and understand what they will be going through, and two, to create a sequence that ultimately results in the highest probability of cure for the patient.
We will start typically with what we call phase-1 surgery today. Phase-1 surgery is what I consider soft tissue surgery. The goal of that is to correct the soft tissues that are abnormal in the patient. One patient may have a blocked nose. One patient may have big tonsils. One patient may have a large tongue. One patient may have thickened tissues in the back of the throat, and a very tailored examination and a very careful examination will help you identify where the blockage is. You can then supplant that with specialized x-rays and 3-D imaging and other things that increase the accuracy of understanding of where the blockage is.
The patients will typically go through that first phase of surgery, and what we have tried to do is assess their successive CPAP tolerance afterwards. However, it’s very much like a batter on the home plate. When I do that first phase of surgery, I don’t know if I am going to hit a home run out of the park and cure the patient of sleep apnea or hit a strong double or sometime hit a single. Most patients get a double. They get about 50% better with that first phase, but some are home runs out of the park and are cured after the first phase.
For those that are not cured, that continue along the journey and still continue to want a cure for sleep apnea there’s additional phase of surgery, we will call that phase-2 surgery, and that surgery is a bony surgery, which is designed to bring forward the bony structures of the facial anatomy that may be abnormal.
For example, somebody may have a very small chin or a very small cheek complex or cheekbones. Those are far too far back and if you think about the windpipe is in the back, by bringing those structurally forward you can resolve the blockages that exist there, and those surgeries are very effective and we look at the cure rates of those combination of surgeries, they can be upwards of 90%, and that for a patient is a home run.
About Dr. Mansfield, M.D.:
At the Senta Clinic, Dr. Perry Mansfield specializes in diseases related to head and neck oncology. Nationally recognized leader in skull base disorders, Dr. Mansfield created and developed one of the premiere centers for skull base surgery in the Southwestern United States. His role as a head and neck oncologist focuses on tumors of the anterior and middle skull base, such as squamous cell carcinomas and other disorders of salivary glands and sinuses.