The procedure might seem “barbaric,” Dr. Scott added, “but the outcomes are incredible once you’ve seen it.” After 14 days in the hospital, patients generally spend four to six weeks at home with the device. When it is removed, the patient generally experiences dramatic improvements in breathing, feeding, and overall facial structure. There is some puckering at the incisions when an external device is used, but these scars tend to fade with time, said Dr. Scott.
An internal, curvilinear device can be used in older children, and even performed trans-orally in adolescents. One 11-year-old patient with Treacher Collins syndrome had severe sleep apnea for more than 10 years and was taking three psychiatric medications because of problems with attention and emotional instability at school. After distraction osteogenesis, her OSA was completely resolved, with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) down to 0.0. “She was able to come off all her psych meds, her grades and school performance have improved, and she is thriving socially,” Dr. Scott said. “Her parents think it’s a miracle.”
M. Boyd Gillespie, MD, MSc, professor and director of the Snoring Clinic at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and ENTtoday editorial board member, said that oral appliances (OA) are worth considering for OSA, particularly as part of combination therapy. | ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page