Pre op and Post Op 3D Airway: Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by an anatomical obstruction during sleep to the normal flow of air from the upper aerodigestive tract to the lungs. It may be secondary to actual anatomical deficiencies anywhere from the nose, soft palate, or base of tongue, or to the abnormal loss of compliance of the soft tissues of the upper airway. It is exacerbated by excessive weight, and certain anatomical variations to the neck and throat, the presence of tonsils and adenoidal tissue, among other factors.

Bimaxillary advancement sleep apnea surgery, also known as maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), moves both the upper and lower jaw forward, creating a larger airway and eliminating obstructions that cause sleep apnea.

The procedure can be broken into three parts: the preoperative assessment, the surgery itself, and postoperative care.

1. Preoperative assesment
Parts of your bimaxillary advancement preoperative assessment may be done in your local community while others parts will be completed in our outpatient surgical facility. Preparations for your procedure will likely involve your surgeon, your anesthesiologist, your supporting medical staff, your referring doctor, and your orthodontist. Read more about the preoperative assesment. 

2. Bimaxillary Advancement Surgery
During bimaxillary advancement surgery, all incisions are made inside the mouth after the anesthesiologist delivers a safe, appropriate general anesthetic. The upper and lower jaws are then mobilized and advanced together in order to open the airway. Your surgeon will then place very small titanium plates and screws into the area to hold the jaws in their new position. These plates and screws eliminate the need to wire the teeth together during healing.In some cases, the surgery involves placement of large braces, arch bars, and rubber bands on the teeth that remain in place for 6 weeks. These tools assist in maintaining a stable bite during the healing process.  Learn more about bimaxillary advancement surgery.

3. Post Operative Care
Unlike many other bimaxillary advancement surgeries, our treatment model allows the majority of patients to spend only one night in professional care and away from home. In addition, most of our patients are ready to return to work and many other activities just 7 to 10 days after their procedure. Full recovery, including a complete reduction in swelling, may take 8-12 weeks, while associated orthodontics may possibly continue for up to six months after the operation. Learn more about our post operative care process.

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