Separating the responders from the non-responders when it comes to surgery for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a goal for all surgeons in this area, and a group of experts, focusing mostly on the role of the tongue in OSA, tackled the topic during a panel session.
Explore this issue:March 2015
“There is a variable response to UPPP [uvulopalatopharyngoplasty] and it’s important to determine what subgroup of the sleep apnea patients would benefit from surgery,” said Kathleen Yaremchuk, MD, MSA, chair of the department of otolaryngology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. The literature suggests that success rates with UPPP might be 50% or less over the long term.
Eric Kezirian, MD, MPH, professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, emphasized that advancements in evaluation techniques have shown that the tongue can play a major role in OSA but that other structures may contribute to airway obstruction.