Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New surgical tool may help sleep apnea sufferers

Date:
August 27, 2013
Source:
Wayne State University Division of Research
Summary:
A researcher’s innovative use of a new tool may make surgery a more viable option for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS).

A Wayne State University researcher's innovative use of a new tool may make surgery a more viable option for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS).

Related Articles


Ho-Sheng Lin, M.D., a fellow with the American College of Surgeons and professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in the School of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute, reported promising results in the July issue of The Laryngoscope, for treating sleep apnea using transoral robotic surgery (TORS), a technique whose safety and tolerability have recently been established for removing cancerous tumors in the back of the throat.

Patients with OSAHS typically are treated with positive airway pressure (PAP), which is extremely safe and often effective. However, not all OSAHS patients can tolerate PAP, which involves wearing a mask during sleep that forces the airway open so they can continue breathing without interruption.

For patients who cannot tolerate PAP, surgery may be a viable alternative. A common procedure, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), targets the obstruction at the level of the soft palate, but has only been found to be effective in less than 50 percent of cases.

Lin, who also is chief of the otolaryngology section in the surgery department at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, said the less-than-optimal result from UPPP is not surprising. In patients with OSAHS, obstruction of air flow can occur at multiple levels of the throat; UPPP only addresses blockage at the soft palate level.

"In order to be maximally effective, the surgeon must evaluate each patient individually to identify the exact site or sites of airway obstruction and then direct the surgical treatments to address those obstructions," Lin said.

Obstruction at the back of the tongue (BOT) can play a significant role in sleep apnea. Traditionally, surgical treatment of BOT blockage has been challenging because it's hard for doctors to see and operate in that region.

Using a robotic device called the da Vinci Surgical System, Lin can now gain improved access to the BOT region to safely and precisely remove the excessive tissue causing airway obstruction. In this study, he reported on the outcome of 12 patients -- nine women and three men -- who underwent BOT resection via TORS. They were selected for analysis because they underwent removal of excessive BOT tissue and nothing else.

Two prior studies, one from Europe and another from the United States, also looked at treatment outcome following TORS-assisted BOT surgery in sleep apnea patients. However, in those studies, the BOT surgery was done in conjunction with other upper-airway surgeries, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the BOT procedure alone. Because all patients in Lin's study underwent only BOT surgery, it is the first to look at the effectiveness of only the TORS-assisted BOT resection.

"Despite undergoing only the BOT procedure, our patients' surgical outcomes appeared similar to those who underwent BOT in addition to other upper-airway surgeries," Lin said.

Significant improvements were seen in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 75 percent of patients. AHI assesses the severity of sleep apnea based on the total number of complete cessations (apnea) and partial obstructions (hypopnea) of breathing occurring per hour of sleep. Even the other 25 percent saw improvements in their condition, Lin said, with some now better able to tolerate PAP treatments.

Although his study results appear promising, Lin said because of the unique nature of each OSAHS sufferer, as well as his necessarily small sample size, more work is needed with larger groups in order to further assess the efficacy of TORS-assisted BOT, with an eye toward developing standardized criteria as to which patients would benefit from it most.

"The procedure we have focused on is not a cure-all, and its use is still in its infancy," Lin said. "But surgeons now have a new, safe and precise technique to add to their OSAHS treatment options."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wayne State University Division of Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wayne State University Division of Research. "New surgical tool may help sleep apnea sufferers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827134751.htm>.
Wayne State University Division of Research. (2013, August 27). New surgical tool may help sleep apnea sufferers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827134751.htm
Wayne State University Division of Research. "New surgical tool may help sleep apnea sufferers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827134751.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins