DOI: 10.3390/jpm13091288 ISSN:

A Debate on Surgical and Nonsurgical Approaches for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Comprehensive Review

Andreea Zabara-Antal, Ionela Grosu-Creanga, Mihai Lucian Zabara, Andrei Tudor Cernomaz, Bogdan Mihnea Ciuntu, Oana Melinte, Cristian Lupascu, Antigona Carmen Trofor
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Regular and unobstructed breathing during the night is the prerequisite for an undisturbed and restful sleep. The most prevalent nocturnal breathing disturbance with morbid consequences is obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is increasing, and a significant number of patients with OSA are undiagnosed. On the other hand, the “obesity epidemic” is a growing concern globally. A sleep test is required to diagnose sleep apnea and to individualize therapy. A multidisciplinary approach is the key to success. This narrative review presents a debate on whether surgery is a friend or a foe in the treatment of sleep apnea. Depending on the type and severity of the apnea, the causal factor, and the presence of obesity and hypercapnia as well as the associated pathologies, the optimal therapeutic method is determined for each individual case. The article concludes that each case is unique, and there is no ideal method. Positive pressure ventilation, although a therapeutic gold standard, has its disadvantages extensively discussed in this paper. Nevertheless, it is necessary prior to any surgical intervention, either for the curative treatment of the causal factor of apnea or for elective surgery for another condition. The anesthetic risks associated with the presence of apnea and obesity should not be neglected and should form the basis for decision making regarding surgical interventions for the treatment of sleep apnea.

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