CHICAGO-If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Perhaps nowhere in medicine does that age-old axiom apply more appropriately than in the treatment of patients with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Even though the etiology of SDB may be airway obstruction or collapse, it might encompass the entire upper airway. So, before rushing these patients into the operating room, it is important to evaluate the patient, the whole patient, and nothing but the patient.
Explore this issue:September 2006
A panel of experts-convened by the Triological Society here at the 2006 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM)-discussed some of the intricacies and issues involved in the presurgical evaluation of the SDB patient. The panel included Michael Friedman, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Ill.; Regina P. Walker, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.; and Brent A. Senior, MD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Panel moderator B. Tucker Woodson, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine and Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, presented the panelists with two cases representing symptoms and situations commonly seen by otolaryngologists. The panelists then offered their thoughts on what to look for-and what to look out for-when diagnosing and determining treatment approaches for SDB patients.